Sunday, August 23, 2009

Helping kids made healthy lifestyle choices.

One of the easiest ways to help kids make healthier choices is to just keep junk out of the house. Yes, they can get it from friends, and at school. But-think how much you can offset this by insisting on better snacks and foods being in your home.

Try to offer fruit as part of at least one meal each day. Eventually you may have your kids asking for apples or bananas.

Another thing you can do is add fruit to basic recipes that your kids usually eat. Do you make waffles or pancakes on a regular basis? Add a bit of diced or pureed fruit to you recipe, and see how it is received.

Usually if you have someone pouting that they don't like what you added to a recipe, you have made it too obvious! Add a little at a time, and see if things are different.

The best time to introduce kids to quality food is when they are infants. It is hard to believe that in the United States, where we have every food available that you can think of, many do not feed babies real food. A child's meals should not come in a little greasy paper bag!

So-you messed up and forgot to show your kid what a banana or grape was. Hmm. You may have to eat some of these things yourself to encourage kids to do it. Fruits in a can are not the best choice, but you may find it is what works. Also, most fruits can be purchased in single serving size plastic containers. If you don't mind your child ingesting plastic, buy these. You could be in for an uphill battle, but this small bit might seem less threatening. Maybe they could have half of a serving at lunch, and the remainder with dinner.

Encourage you child to help you make some meals. Soups made at home can be a great way to get kids to eat some veggies. Let the child pick some of the items that will be added, and allow a taste test along the way, accepting suggestions.

If you are at the point where you think you should just give up, try added veggies to spaghetti sauce. You can easily puree a small amount of any vegetable, and include it in a sauce. You do not have to tell anyone what you have added. Use caution when doing this. A pound of brussel spouts can't easily be hidden in a small amount of sauce-so use good judgment.

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