As babies, we innately know when we're hungry, when we're satisfied and when to finish our meal. As we get older and learn more from the world about food (and diets, ugh), we are drawn away from that natural internal behavior to following rules from our external influencers (a lot of which are focused on restriction, ugh again). Even at a young age, children start to get some less than ideal beliefs around food that make it hard for them to navigate through the eating experience. Here are my top 3 tips for keeping your kids on the road to a more balanced approach to their eating.
Kids love cookies, but cookies are usually full of butter, sugar and all purpose flour. Not wanting my kids to go without cookies, but still wanting them to have healthy, home baked school snacks, I set out to reinvent some of their favorite cookies recipes.
Packaged sugar & preservative filled grocery store snacks are now a rare sighting around here! I made a commitment to bake my kids healthy school snacks and not be tempted to buy them. It seemed daunting at first, but I realized that investing just a couple hours every 3 weeks, makes enough snacks to put 2 healthy treats in my 3 kids lunch bags every day at school. The trick is to bake & freeze!
There are many wonderful websites giving us numerous options to replace sandwiches, add protein, or make your own healthier lunchbox treats. However, raising healthy eaters involves more than just providing them with nutritious food. It includes teaching kids basic nutrition and helping them implement those good habits themselves. It may be time for your children to begin packing their own lunches.
Summertime has arrived. The days are longer, the weather is warmer and the kids have replaced their time behind a school desk with active play. Whether it’s free time spent on their bikes, at the community pool, or enrolled in an active day camp, now is a wonderful time to re-examine your family’s eating habits to fuel your summer time activity level.
There is no way any kid would fall for this one right? How can spinach go unnoticed in brownies? Well, I have been putting these brownies to the test for a couple years now and my kids love them today just as they always have, even now that they know what's in them! I want my kids growing up understanding that vegetables can taste good, so I make food they enjoy and put a little extra healthy stuff in there!
Are you wondering sometimes if your kids are really hungry when they ask you for a snack or they are just craving something sweet/crunchy/salty? Does a mere thought of grocery store trips with your kids fill you with terror? You never dare to leave your house without multiple baggies of crackers, fruit, chips etc? If you answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions, keep reading this post because it can help you teach your kids to stop asking for snacks all the time and eat better overall.
It does not matter what your child ate at dinner. It may sound shocking but it does not matter what your child ate for dinner or how much of the lovingly packed lunch he brought back from school untouched. What does matter is what you serve (or pack) for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
When you take the time to pack a nutritious lunch for your children it is frustrating when some or all of it comes home uneaten. Whether it is the eagerness to get out to play at recess or just tired of the same old stuff, an uneaten lunch is a common parent worry and source of conflict in the family.
I made a decision a couple of years ago to stop buying packaged granola bars and other quick snack foods from the grocery store. The kids had begun talking about litter-less lunches at school, and that got me thinking about just what I was seeing in their classmates lunch bags each day. A container of yogurt, a wrapped bar, a packaged cookie, a sandwich baggie, a lunchable container and a juice box all adds up to not only a lot of package waste, but a lot of processed foods our kids do not need to be consuming.
Todays busy families are always on the go and many find themselves feeding kids in the car or grabbing something to eat on the way out the door. With so many processed foods available that have 'convenient' written all over them, the temptation is sometimes hard to resist. It will fill up the kids, its easy to pack and it has a long shelf life so easy to stock the panty. Whats the harm? These convenience foods may be great for on the go, but they are not so great for the kids.
I'm a Mom who believes there will be rewards if I teach my kids to cook at an early age. However, sometimes the thought of cooking with my three kids is way more fun than the actual cooking with my kids!!! The extra patience required, the equal dividing of all the tasks, the extra mess (flour flies!) and the extra time . . .and yet somehow there is no extra help with the dishes !!! But getting your kids into the kitchen is an important part of raising healthy kids.
Our children took pride in our garden, and worked alongside us throughout the whole process from seed to plant to dining room table. They helped weed and picked daily what we would have for dinner that week. The best is when we are out in the yard playing and the kids run over to their vegetable garden and eat acherry tomato. Or better yet pull a carrot fresh from the ground, wipe the dirt on their shirt and munch away!
Heather watched her picky eater mow through plate after plate of food in South America where options were mostly very good steak, pizza and salad so it was easy to shrug it off. In China, there would be only fried noodles mixed with vegetables and in a sauce. He ate it. Steamed dumplings with surprise fillings? Ate that too. He did it consistently, constantly and without any of our prodding. The question is: Why now?
Getting your kids involved in preparing meals is a fantastic way to develop healthy eating habits. Kids are far more likely to dig into a new dish if they helped prepare it! There are lots of things even very young children can do in the kitchen. Toddlers can wash and rip lettuce, preschoolers can measure and stir, and older kids can find recipes and help create meals.
I’m sure you’ve already got this drilled into your head; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s been the slogan of schools, nutritionists and weight loss coaches for ages. We already know that people who consume a healthy breakfast tend to consume less calories throughout the day and have a higher metabolism. But what about kids?
Healthy school lunches are important at our house so every couple of weeks I make a batch of Whole Wheat, Flax, Carrot, Zucchini & Apple mini muffins that I freeze and pull out each day to include for their school snack. The kids love helping and there are so many steps they can do! Follow our recipe even the kids will love.
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