Tag: kids

7 Tips for Feeding Picky Kids

by in Kid-Friendly, June 28, 2012
picky eater
Will your child ever love spinach as much as you do?

Getting kids to eat healthy has become the Mount Everest of parenthood. Every day is a rocky, uphill battle with daily obstacles thwarting parents’ best intentions: bake sales, kiddie menus, birthday parties and vending machines are everywhere. It doesn’t help that kids are still wired like their early ancestors to gravitate towards sweet foods to maintain their weight in case of a famine and avoid unfamiliar foods that may be poisonous. Fast forward to the twenty-first century with easy access to store-bought processed products and introducing kids to cauliflower can sound as daunting as climbing a mountain.

The good news is that there are plenty of tactics to encourage healthier eating habits in kids.

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Kid-Friendly Summer Snacks

by in Kid-Friendly, June 13, 2012
ham pinwheels Keep kids fueled for fun with easy, pack-able snacks.

Whether on a road trip, a day at camp or playing at the beach, kids need fuel! Keep tummies from rumbling with these nutritious and delicious snacks.

Grab-N-Go
Pinwheels (above)
Popcorn
Trail Mix
Pizza Wrap

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Tips for Feeding Healthy and Happy Kids: An Interview with Ellyn Satter

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Kid-Friendly, June 6, 2012

ellyn satter If the struggle to get your kids to eat right is driving you nuts, there’s hope! We asked registered dietitian and (my all-time-favorite) child nutrition expert Ellyn Satter to weigh in.

Q: Why do so many parents have trouble feeding their kids? A: Because they care so much. Parents have been brainwashed about what is good and bad nutrition-wise and feel pressured to produce a healthy child.

The most important thing is the family meal. The parents’ job is to help preserve a positive attitude about eating.  It almost doesn’t matter what you’re eating as long as it’s together. Once parents can establish structure and rhythm to getting meals on the table, creativity will start to kick in and deciding what to serve gets easier.

Q: When it comes to feeding kids, what’s the biggest mistake parents make? A: Parents often provide too little support and too much interference – insisting and bribery don’t work. You can’t fool a child. Parents need to trust that the child will learn to make smart decisions when it comes to what they eat. Read more

Kid-Friendly Mac and Cheese, and a Grownup Way to Use the Leftovers

by in Healthy Recipes, Robin's Healthy Take, April 9, 2012
macaroni and cheese Turn kid friendly mac and cheese into adult (and kid) friendly mac and cheese cakes.

People constantly confess to me that their biggest diet pitfall is nibbling on their kid’s leftovers. French fries, macaroni and cheese, burgers, pizza. Things you wouldn’t put on YOUR dinner plate, but eat while doing the dishes. Instead of feeling guilty, why not enjoy kid food with reckless abandon? Even better – get creative with leftovers and make memorable meals for the entire family. Macaroni and cheese is the perfect place to start because kids love it and parents devour all remaining scraps (along with their adult meals). That’s when calories skyrocket. To start, you need a great recipe for macaroni and cheese; one that’s healthy yet rich and bursting with cheese flavor. My renowned macaroni and cheese is below. I bake mine to create a creamy middle and crisp, Parmesan-spiked topping (the part everyone loves). It’s sinful tasting, yet lighter in fat and calories thanks to light sour cream and evaporated skim milk. Since the recipe makes a big batch, you can easily store leftovers and enjoy my mac n cheese cakes with spicy tomato sauce another day – crispy, Parmesan and panko-crusted cakes dipped in warm, smoky tomato sauce. Got creative uses for YOUR leftovers? Let’s hear ‘em!

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Cool Snacks for Kids (and Parents!)

by in Robin's Healthy Take, March 23, 2012
pretzel knots
Cheddar-Stuffed Pretzel Knots

When we talk about healthy and cool snacks, why is the focus always on kids? At what age does fun snacking end and boring snacking begin? For me, I’m still 8 years old at heart, so fun snacks are always a part of my family’s repertoire. Check out two nibbles I recently made for myself and my kids. The pretzel knots are a breeze to prepare (because you use store-bought pizza or bread dough) and they’ve got a hidden gem of sharp cheddar nestled in the middle. You can tuck any cheese you want inside – in fact, you can insert lots of different things into a pretzel knot (olives, sundried tomatoes, pepperoni, ham, and so on). The onion rings might seem like an odd snack, but we love them in my house. Plus, onions are rich in cancer-fighting sulfur compounds so enjoying them as a snack instead of a measly side dish means you’ll likely get more of the onion’s powerful goodness. We like to dip the rings in ketchup, but they’re also amazing dipped in smoky barbecue sauce. What are you noshing on between meals? Let me know!

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Healthy Snacks to Grab on the Fly

by in Healthy Tips, March 12, 2012

lead
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s often very little time to plan for meals and snacks, let alone cook. So what do you do when your stomach grumbles when you’re on-the-run? If you’re super hungry, maybe you grab those month-old candies at the bottom of your purse or the candy bar sitting around since Halloween. It truly doesn’t have to be this way. With a little advanced planning and some creative HealthyEats ideas, you can grab nutritious and delicious snacks even on your busiest days.

Homemade

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New Rules for School Lunch

by in Food News, March 1, 2012
school lunch The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in favor of the recently-announced school lunch guidelines.

What do the lunch lady and First Lady have in common? They’re both making school lunches healthier. Find out why the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and registered dietitians everywhere) are in favor of new changes in the school cafeteria.

What’s new?
Less than a month ago, Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced new guidelines for school lunches across the country. Changes to school lunch offerings have been a long time coming. In recent years, nutrition professionals have been making positive strides to improve lunch options, but it’s been hard to make changes stick.  These new initiatives shine a light on the importance of making healthy meals that kids actually want to eat.

Kids can now look forward to properly portioned plates featuring more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Trans fats will take a hike and the high amounts of sodium packed into meals will be reduced.

A popular debate over chocolate milk has also been settled. According to the new guidelines, cafeterias will now serve low-fat plain and nonfat chocolate milk to help balance out the extra sugary calories in the chocolate version.

Since school may be the only consistent source of food for low-income families, some institutions are moving to providing 3 meals a day to students in need. In December 2010, President Obama signed a bill to help make this possible.

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Food News: Food Presentation Affects Kids’ Eating Habits

by in Food News, January 29, 2012
pancake face
Could silly faces on a plate help feed picky eaters?

Kids may be picky eaters, but according to a new study from Cornell University, how food is presented to them makes a huge difference in the food they choose to eat.

Children crave a greater visual diversity on the plate, whether it’s varying colors or ingredients shaped into silly faces and designs.

According to the study, “On average, they [kids] preferred seven different items on their plates, and six different colors.”

Parents, however, found three items of different colors more appealing.

Could this trick allow for more nutrient-rich foods in kids’ diets?

Read the rest of the study. And get some fun plating ideas after the jump.

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The Importance of Family Dinner

by in Food News, January 6, 2012


In my years of practice, I found that many families don’t eat dinner together – or any meal for that matter. A recent study released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University revealed what a big difference family meals make in your children’s lives.

About the Study
Family mealtime has drastically decreased since the 1950’s. Although you may not initially see the connection, family meals play a huge role in your kids’ lives. Yes, it’s important to eat together in order to sit down and catch up on the day, but there’s more to it. The study called The Importance of Family Dinners VI dug deep to see if there was a connection between the frequency of family meals and teen substance abuse. It also explored what teens thought about the concept of family dinners. The results will shock you.

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Non-Messy Kids’ Snacks

by in Healthy Tips, Kid-Friendly, November 3, 2011
kids ans snacks Grapes, carrots and cucumber slices aren’t so messy.

I have 3 kids with completely different personalities, but one thing is for sure—they’re all messy eaters. Like most moms, cleaning up after their mess becomes never-ending and frustrating. There are several things I do to make snacking less messy, especially when I’m on the go. Hopefully these tips can clean a little mess out of your life.

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