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Preventing Childhood Obesity With A Fun, Easy Way To Eat Vegetables

Arranged Vegetables Creating a FaceI have an 18 year old daughter who to this day does not like cooked carrots. I couldn’t figure it out, when she was a baby she ate all kinds of vegetables in the form of baby food. But as she grew older  probably around the age of 5 or 6 cooked carrots became this horrible thing.

One day while preparing a meal with carrots  she grabbed a raw one. They were baby carrots, which I love and often times eat as a snack. She loved them. I stood looking at her in shock. You like them! I said to her, you like your carrots raw? She smiled up at me with this little cutie pie face and said “Yes, mommy.”  I don’t know why but at the time it never dawned on me to feed her raw carrots as a part of a hot meal.  At the time it didn’t make sense to me to have both raw and cooked vegetables on the same dinner plate. In my mind all of the food should be hot unless you’re eating a salad before the meal.

I had to open my mind and thinking and think about what was the ultimate goal that I was trying to accomplish. That goal was to get her to eat healthy foods and one of those foods was vegetables namely carrots. From then on I started to think creatively about how I could get her to eat fruits and vegetables and drink adequate amounts of water.

One of the techniques that I used when she was a baby that helped when she was a little older was to have her eat airplane food. I would put the food on the spoon and it would fly around on top of the spoon with these sound effects of an airplane flying around and then into her mouth. She thought the sound effects were great and it really worked well.

One great idea that I got from http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov is “Delicious Dippers”. It’s under Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits: 10 tips for making healthy foods more fun for children. They talk about how kids love to dip their foods which is true. I notice this a lot in my preschools. They suggest that you make a quick dip for vegetables with yogurt and seasonings like herbs or garlic. The vegetables that they suggested were broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I find that cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes depending on the age of the child and red peppers are great too.

I find that kids really love the act of dipping and often just love eating with their fingers anyway. You can also change it up a bit and use yogurt with cinnamon or vanilla dip with fruit chunks. Eating doesn’t have to be a bore and a chore we can make it fun and interesting too. Please share your healthy recipes for preschoolers and young children that have worked for you. I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below. You can also share this with your friends and family on social media, email or whatever works for you.

Getting More Fruit In Your Diet

Apples are an excellent way to get more fruit in your diet. They can also lead to eating more fruit and vegetables as they make an excellent addition to salads. I discovered this when our family was going through Hurricane Sandy. We cleaned out our downstairs freezer of every single thing. At the time we had a bag of salad greens and apples that we snack on in the refrigerator. So I decided to chop up some apples in with the greens. These were Fuji apples, which I love because they are sweet. My husband and daughter flipped over the new addition. Now my daughter adds apples to her salad frequently with out me having to bug her to eat more fruit and vegetables.

SOME FACTS ABOUT APPLES

  1. The pectin in apples clears cholesterol out of the body.
  2. They lower “LDL” the bad cholesterol and increases “HDL” the good cholesterol.
  3. They contribute to weight loss.
  4. They provide 5 grams of fiber per apple which is 20% of the recommended allowance.

A Brazilian study found that women who ate 3 pears or apples per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting. There is also a “3-A Day” Plan in which you eat an apple before each meal or in between meals this yields a 1/2 pound of fat loss a week. Supposedly this will occur with no other diet or exercise changes. I am sure willing to give that a try!

BUYING TIPS FOR APPLES

  1. Make sure your apples are firm and do not have bruises or punctures on them.
  2. The skin should be shiny, dull appearing apples won’t be crispy or tasty.

STORAGE

Refrigerate apples at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep them on the counter they won’t stay crispy.

OTHER USAGES

You can also eat apples dried, with peanut butter, topped on your cereal either hot or cold, juiced, apple sauce or put in smoothies. I would peel them first before putting them in the blender unless you had something like a really good juicer or VitaMix machine. Children love them chopped into small pieces so send them to school that way.

Please share with me how and if you use apples. I would love to hear from you. Apples are just a suggestion you might want to try pears or oranges. The whole idea is to just start with one fruit and get in the habit of purchasing that and using it in several ways. Also if you have some great recipes please share them with us, especially for kids. Also check out a free ebook on healthy eating for kids at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com . It’s not only for kids you’ll benefit from it too.

Preventing Childhood Obesity By Eating Like A Two Year Old

Preventing childhood obesity by eating like a two year old may seem like a crazy thing, but it is a very smart choice. Children are very in touch with their bodies, they are designed this way. It is a survival mechanism  that’s design to signal to children when to eat, sleep , go to the bathroom etc. Adults have this same mechanism in their bodies also but they have learned to ignore it after years and years of practice. Other factors like stress, boredom, anxiety and other emotional factors are a large factor in how adults eat. Not to mention all of the advertising and messages that we are constantly bombarded with.

KIDS LEAVE CLUES

From infancy children give us clues to their needs by crying when they need something. Because their needs are very basic in the beginning we learn them and they help us take care of them. There are only a few needs that they have hunger, changing, sleep and companionship and stimulation. These things we do because we love and care for them. But something seems to happen after around the 2 year mark or a little earlier, we stop taking the cues that are given to us by our children. When infants have had enough to eat they push the nipple away with their tongue or turn their heads. This signals to us that they have had enough to eat. We may try a couple of times to make sure but we do not try to force feed them.

KIDS DO KNOW WHAT THEY NEED

Children always know when they have had enough, always. As parents and care givers we sometimes take this inner knowing away from them robbing them of a very important skill that they need to master if they want to be healthy and that is self regulation. It is very important that we allow children to learn to self regulate themselves and honor and respect when they have said or expressed that they had enough  or even that they want more .Children’s appetite cannot always be regulated by a clock either.

We can offer and encourage children with  different healthy options  and try and be a good role model in eating healthy foods and beverages ourselves. We can try to prepare foods in different ways taking advantage of options like raw fruits and vegetables. juicing, smoothies, steamed, baked and broiled foods. It also a good idea to introduce children to a variety of healthy foods from all 5 food groups and eliminating as much processed foods and sweets as possible.

ACHIEVING SUCCESS THROUGH PLANNING

One way that healthy eating can happen is through proper planning. Many times we are rushing and have such tight schedules that many of our meals are on the go. More food is eaten in cars than at the dinner table. Believe me I totally understand, because even though I know better it happens to me also. What I am saying is that if you plan your menus and snacks in advance, take into consideration your schedule and that of your kids, having to resort to fast food, sugary drinks and other processed foods will happen a lot less often.

Eating like a two year old means that you pay attention to what you are eating. You take your time and chew your food and savor it. You pay attention to your body and stop eating when you are full. And you don’t budge after that, like a 2 year old there is no room for negotiation. Full belly means stop and step away from the plate! You can do it, you really can. By taking the time to pay attention and enjoy and savor your food you will be satisfied and end up eating less. This will also be a good example for your children whether teacher or parent.

I am interested in hearing your challenges as well as what has worked and is working for you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you. If you are interested in more on healthy eating for kids download a free report at http://healthykidsweightloss.com.

Preventing Childhood Obesity: What Should Your Preschooler Plate Look Like

If you want to prevent childhood obesity one of the most important things you should know is what your child plate should look like. This seems like something that you should just know already, but you’d be surprised how many preschooler plates I see lacking variety and color. In addition to not having enough variety and color, their plate also lacks balance.

It is very simple and there are only a few  things that you have to remember. The first is that children have tiny tummies so do not give them adult portion sizes. Starting out with half of an adult portion or even 1/3 is a safe bet. You want to do this for several reasons. The first is you don’t want your child to feel obligated to finish their plates when there’s too much food on it, this is overwhelming to child. Secondly, you want to teach your child to learn when they are full and have had enough. This is a skill that will keep them from creating the habit of overeating. Learning this skill also helps a child to learn self regulation, where they determine how much they eat and when.

You want your child to learn self regulation when they are eating. In addition to preventing over eating and childhood obesity, self regulation builds a childs confidence in themselves and helps them to trust themselves in knowing what is best for them. You want your child to develop this early because this is the basis of self esteem and self confidence.   

Your child’s plate should look like a rainbow with a variety of colors on it.  Half of the plate should consist of fruits and vegetables the other half should consist of grains and a protein. You can serve the fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways. You can juice them, serve them in a soup or salad, steam them or serve them raw. Adding vegetables to casseroles is also a great way to get vegetables in.

Most people are pretty much familiar with what fruits and vegetables are as well as proteins but are sometimes not aware of what grains are. I say aware because once I start naming examples of grains people always say “oh that’s a grain”. Grains are any food that is made from wheat, rice. oats, cornmeal, barley, or  a cereal grain. Some examples of grains are pasta, tortilla, oatmeal, rye, sandwich rolls and quinoa.

There are two types of grains, whole grains and refined grains. The whole grains are like the name implies it has the entire grain which consists of three parts, the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains contains vitiamins,  nutrients and fiber, which is really important for digestive and colon health. Refined grains have been milled and the bran and germ are taken out. This procedure removes the fiber, iron and many B vitamins. So as much as possible you want to feed your child whole grains. 

To drink, if your child is over the age of 2 it is recommended that they have non-fat or skim milk. Under the age of 2 regualr milk is fine. If you give them juice make sure it is 100 percent fruit juice and no more than 4-6 ounces. This requirement of 4-6 ounces is the total that is recommended for the entire day. You want to encourage your child to drink water as much as possible. In fact water should be readily available for children. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, gator ade, kool aid and juice drinks.

Print this out so you’ll have this nearby when you are planning your meals and go grocery shopping. But as you can see there’s not much to remember just make sure your child eats a variety of colors. That their plate is made up of half fruits and vegetables and half proteins and grains and that they have something from the dairy group. Making sure you control portion size and allow them to self regulate themselves is also on the list.

For more information on healthy eating get a free ebook on healthy eating at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com. Also feel free to share your experiences and comments with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Basketball Coach Collapses On Court And Later Dies: How This Affects Your Child

Can you imagine? Some one that conditions others to be stellar players collapses and dies. Wow that’s a lot right, but what does that have to do with my child you say. It relates to your child because a simple thing like dehydration was suspected as playing a major role in his death. And by the way dehydration is a very major thing that we do not think about too often.

Research indicates that the Read more »