What to Eat and How Much?

PinExt What to Eat and How Much?

Who is the decision-maker when it comes to food choices? Is it the school? government? family? children?

 What to Eat and How Much?

Ground rules for this go something like this:

Parents should have the final word about what foods are bought and used for meals and snacks. It’s the parents who need to make healthy choices about foods for themselves and their family. This is for foods eaten at home or outside the home. It’s important to choose nutritious foods so that the goal for healthy food is met each day.

Buying crispy vegetables and fruits instead of cookies, chips and dips is a better trade-off. You can find already cleaned carrots, green beans, and grape tomatoes ready-to-eat. Add some raw broccoli and there is enough goodness for a salad or snacks for awhile.

The same can be done for fruits. Some require a little more preparation. For example, cutting up apples and oranges and putting them in little plastic bags or glass dishes in the refrigerator takes more time but is worth it.

Within reason, children should decide on the amount of food they want to eat at meals and snacks. Some guidance may be necessary, depending on the age of the children. Some families are concerned about children eating too much, while others worry about children not eating enough.

Always talk with your child about why they are choosing not to eat. Try to keep the communication open about food.

Eating should be a pleasant experience. Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. Make mealtimes an important and essential part of the day.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Good nutrition advocate
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

 What to Eat and How Much?
PinExt What to Eat and How Much?

Support the Reading Habit

PinExt Support the Reading Habit
300px SanDiegoCityCollegeLearingRecourceCity bookshelf Support the Reading Habit

Now that school is out, encourage your children to read this summer. Perhaps you can set up a special place for reading and writing in your home. This well-lit spot with lots of books available can become your child’s favorite spot.

Visit the library often and help your child have their own library card. Let them pick out their own books.

Be a good role model for your child. By spending quiet time yourself reading, you are demonstrating its value to your child.

Consider giving books to children as presents and as recognition for special achievements. Birthdays and special events are perfect times to give a child a new book.

Let kids sail off to far-away places this summer through books. Do you remember your favorite books from childhood?

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson

 Support the Reading Habit
PinExt Support the Reading Habit

3 Best Ways to Get Kids Cooking

PinExt 3 Best Ways to Get Kids Cooking

Do your children like to help in the kitchen? Have you asked them and encouraged them?

Most children love to “help” in the kitchen. This help may not always be appreciated but their enthusiasm should be encouraged. Being excited about working in the kitchen is a good trait for any child.

Here are three excellent ways to get kids cooking:

1. The #1 way to get kids cooking is to encourage and involve them in the work of the kitchen.  Give them simple chores to do, depending on the age of the child. Setting the table, mixing ingredients, and washing food, such as lettuce in a colander are jobs even preschoolers can do. It may take a little more time and patience sharing your kitchen with young ones, but the smiles on their faces will more than compensate for a little flour on the floor or other spills.

2. Give children choices. The #2 way of getting kids in the kitchen is to give them choices in what they can do. For example, “Do you want to grease the pan or measure the sugar?  Or you can ask “Would you like to put the napkins on the table or the silverware?” Eventually you may get them interested in doing both chores. Just make it sound interesting! Let them know this is a special job just for them. You may say: “You’re the only one in this family who knows where the knives, forks, and spoons go.”

3. Prepare simple foods with them and let them sample when it’s ready. Children feel good about the food they prepare and want to taste it. This is a good time to give them a little more information about the food. You can tell them where it is grown and some of the processes it went through to get to the stage it is now. Let them feel the food and talk about the color and the shape. What else do they know that is that color or that shape? How does it smell?  Is it hot or is it cold? When they taste it, is it salty? Is it sweet? Have them describe how it looks and tastes.

By following these suggestions you will have excited and willing help in the kitchen  -  perhaps even promising young chefs. Many great cooks attribute their skill and interest in cooking to their earlier years when they were encouraged to help their parents or other adults prepare food.

For help in selecting recipes to prepare with children, check out the children’s cookbook, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities by Amy Houts. This cookbook helps parents and children work together in celebrating America’s cultural diversity through foods from different regions of the country and shows where food is grown or harvested.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

 3 Best Ways to Get Kids Cooking Feel free to forward and share this email with your friends and family.

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Copyright (C) 2012 www.cookingandkids.com Lee Jackson, CFCS  All rights reserved.

PinExt 3 Best Ways to Get Kids Cooking

Childrens Cookbook Takes Kids Through the Seasons of the Year

PinExt Childrens Cookbook Takes Kids Through the Seasons of the Year

You already know the importance of cooking with children – how much worthwhile information they gain from working in the kitchen. And why they need to be exposed to this skill at an early age.

Amy Houts, who has been a preschool teacher, now has a cookbook on cooking with children through the four seasons. Best of all, this hardcover childrens cookbook is incredibly priced. There is a special this week only for $16.95 when purchased through our website. This is a reduction from the regular price of $24.95 for this quality hardcover book. Amy said she wants every child to be able to cook with the seasons and sense the different rhythms of life.

http://ImagesUnlimitedPub.com

Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun helps children enjoy the unique feeling and taste of each season. Now with the spring season knocking on our door, you will find many recipes for lighter and more colorful foods.

In the “Spring” section, there are recipes for foods using fresh strawberries, cool fruit parfaits, St. Patrick‘s Soda Bread, Spinach Power, Spring Flower Cake, Mexican fiesta food and other. There are over 200 kid-friendly recipes, many with a focus on different holidays and celebrations, but appropriate for any day of the year.

http://ImagesUnlimitedPub.com

Take a look and see if this is what you need to encourage your child to work in the kitchen and learn new skills.

To your health and that of your family’s,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate

 Childrens Cookbook Takes Kids Through the Seasons of the Year
PinExt Childrens Cookbook Takes Kids Through the Seasons of the Year

New E-Book Resource for Parents and Preschool Teachers

PinExt New E Book Resource for Parents and Preschool Teachers

cover 231x300 New E Book Resource for Parents and Preschool TeachersChildren love to cook and work with food. Help them sharpen their skills in math and science, nutrition, vocabulary and social skills, while enjoying what they are doing.

This resource for parents and preschool teachers will help use their skills in new and exciting ways. Have this ready when your children want to “work” in the kitchen.

Kids Cooking and Learning  Through  Food  Activities

The author, Amy Houts, shares lots of good ideas on helping preschoolers  learn through a variety of cooking activities. For many years she wrote a monthly Preschooler in the Kitchen column for Parent & preschooler Newsletter, an international parenting resource, and includes many of her best kid-tested techniques.

The activities are organized so that early childhood professionals can use them as part of their curriculum. Home-schooling parents will also benefit by using this guide with their children.

You can find it here on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/oorLCr

For only $4.99 you can have it immediately and use it tonight with your children.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Specialist

P.S. For more cooking and kids tips, see:

http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com


 New E Book Resource for Parents and Preschool Teachers
PinExt New E Book Resource for Parents and Preschool Teachers

Eating “Real Food” and Making Healthier Choices for Kids

PinExt Eating Real Food and Making Healthier Choices for Kids
300px USA Obesity 2009.svg Eating Real Food and Making Healthier Choices for Kids

Image via Wikipedia

More than one in six children and teenagers are obese according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  All we need do is look around and see the re-sizing of America.

There was to have been a voluntary ban on fast food ads on TV as these were said to be helping super-size young children. Has this happened? And if it did happen, would it help matters?

According to a group of physicians, voluntary guidelines have not made a difference in reducing ads placed on TV. They say it’s time to get tougher with the food industry about not advertising junk food to young children. The assumption here is that young children often can’t tell the difference between ads and programming. If fast food ads were banned, they say, this could decrease obesity and overweight by 17 percent.

Looking at the bigger picture, we can see it is not only the food industry’s problem. It is one for all families. Studies show that one in five children (ages 2 to 5) is overweight or obese before entering kindergarten. These children aren’t even in school yet so the school lunch program can’t be at fault. So obesity isn’t only the school lunch problem.

That places much of the responsibility on parents and caregivers of young children. They are the ones in charge of the food that goes on the table. And for families with small children, they are in charge of what their children eat. They need to know about healthy eating and portion size for themselves as well as their children.

With all the media talk and writing about good nutrition, you would believe everyone would be well aware of what constitutes healthy eating. But I still find it hard when I go to the grocery store to see all the processed food, soda pop, and other less-than-desirable food going into grocery carts, often, too, of those who need it the least. I often wonder whether anyone is eating “real food”.

Parents – do you know what your children are eating?

To the good health of you and your family

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food and nutrition advocate and author

 Eating Real Food and Making Healthier Choices for Kids
PinExt Eating Real Food and Making Healthier Choices for Kids

Got Kids? Add These Food Activities to Your Kids Vacation List

PinExt Got Kids? Add These Food Activities to Your Kids Vacation List

With so much unhealthy junk food available, the challenge is to get kids involved in healthy eating. Include your children in the entire process of choosing, preparing, and eating foods that are both healthy and delicious.

Kids want to be independent. What better way to show them you know they are ready for more responsibility than allowing them to prepare food for themselves? Sometimes all they need are some food ideas and suggestions to spur them on in their creative endeavors.

For a quick and easy way to encourage kids to get interested in working with food, head on over to http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com. There you will find a FREE report with fun and educational activities that will get your kids exploring the world of nutrition and food.

To your good health and that of your children,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Home and Family Living Specialist

 Got Kids? Add These Food Activities to Your Kids Vacation List
PinExt Got Kids? Add These Food Activities to Your Kids Vacation List

Healthy After-School Snack Ideas

PinExt Healthy After School Snack Ideas

As your kids burst through the door after school are their first words “I’m hungry – what’s there to eat“? You may have anticipated this and been ready with a prepared snack. Or they may have to find or fix something themselves. A bag of chips is the quick and easy way. A shelf in the refrigerator or cupboard filled with healthy snacks is another option.  Which way does it work in your family?

Snacks represent a significant part of a child’s diet. These foods need to nourish them and not just fill them up.

Kids want to be independent. What better way to show them you know they are ready for more responsibility than allowing them to prepare food for themselves? Sometimes all they need are some food ideas and suggestions to spur them on in their creative endeavors.

Over a month’s worth of snack suggestions are found in my new ebook on How to Solve Your Child’s “After School Munchies” the Healthy Way – with Easy Recipes and Ideas. You and your children will find lots of healthy and nutritious choices so that better nutrition becomes fun. It can also get them started on a life-long path of making good food choices.

With so much unhealthy junk food available, the challenge is to get kids involved in healthy eating. Include your children in the entire process of choosing, preparing, and eating foods that are both healthy and delicious. Since all children love to eat, preparing food is a highly motivating activity. There is a great deal of pride when they prepare something for themselves. You sense this as they tell you,’See, I made it myself’.

Children are more likely to eat and enjoy food they have helped prepare. When kids have hands-on experiences, they have the joy of working with food as well as eating it. They love the sense of independence and accomplishment.

You and your children will appreciate the help this ebook provides. All the foods can be prepared quickly so that the snacks are ready after school or anytime your kids get hungry. This prevents the usual reaction of reaching for a quick fix of high calorie, high fat and/or carbohydrate foods.

You can order this ebook, How to Solve Your Child’s “After School Munchies” the Healthy Way – with Easy Recipes and Ideas here:  http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com/more-info/. Will your child’s snacks be highly processed foods loaded with additives, or quick, healthy, whole foods that are nourishing and appealing – and fun to make?

To you and your family’s health,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food writer and author
http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com/more-info/

 Healthy After School Snack Ideas
PinExt Healthy After School Snack Ideas

Is There a Problem Eater or a Happy Eater in the House?

PinExt Is There a Problem Eater or a Happy Eater in the House?
4799458063 4e5dbfb774 m Is There a Problem Eater or a Happy Eater in the House?

Image by ranahki via Flickr

You may know children who are picky eaters, or who refuse to try new foods, or even those who exhibit bad behavior at mealtime. As food patterns develop early, parents need to guide young children toward having good attitudes about food and mealtimes.

Here are hints for establishing good eating patterns in childhood.

Don’t force children to eat everything on their plates. Sometimes food helpings are larger than needed so don’t expect them to eat everything. Sometimes children do not feel like eating, just as happens to adults. Encourage the sampling of all food but children should not be made to sit at the table until everything is eaten. You can imagine the kind of feelings toward food this action represents.

Don’t scold or nag about poor eating habits. Yes, children need to know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior. But the constant talk and attention to “eat all your vegetables” or “sit up straight” raises the tension level at the table. Relax and enjoy the food and company.

Don’t reward or punish with food. We all know the dangers of “if you eat all your food you can have ice cream (or add any favorite food)”, or “if you’re good, you can have cake”.  Food, including cake or ice cream, should not be a bargaining tool. If it’s a planned part of the meal, it should be available for all. Those that use treats for good behavior or punishment are using food as a means of gaining control. Food is nourishment and should be considered as such, as well as for enjoyment.

Mealtime is an important part of the day. Sharing food with family and/or friends is one of the pleasures of life.  If children are included in family conversations and are given lots of positive attention at mealtime and other times, they won’t have to resort to undesirable behavior.

What are other ways you have tried to establish good eating habits for children?

Here’s to developing healthy eating habits,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
See our books on cooking with children and others:
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com
Books for cooks and apple lovers, kids,
families and parenting professionals

 Is There a Problem Eater or a Happy Eater in the House?
PinExt Is There a Problem Eater or a Happy Eater in the House?

What are Mealtime Goals?

PinExt What are Mealtime Goals?

Children vary in their food needs and eating habits. Some children are very picky eaters, others go on various same-food binges. Then there are others who like and eat a little of everything. Everybody is different. That’s a good thing!

Parents often get overwhelmed, though, by the so-called problem eaters. This is a difficult time to get through. However, if they can learn to adjust to the individual differences without making an issue of eating, mealtimes will be much happier.

Here are a number of fundamental mealtime goals most parents want their children to meet.

First, they want them to eat a well-balanced meal. It is up to parents to see that their children have foods available from the different food groups – protein foods such as meat, fish, chicken, or eggs; fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals; milk and milk products for strong teeth and bones; and breads and cereals for energy to run, play, and learn.

To taste a little of everything and eat only from their plate. All the food may not be to their liking, but encourage them to taste a little of everything. By tasting a little and eating other foods they like, they should be well-nourished. Some children like to eat what’s on their parents or other children’s plate, or to dip into the serving bowls. Nibbling on someone else’s food should be discouraged. If they want another serving of the food, they can ask for it.

To enjoy mealtime. Hopefully this is a time when the family can eat together. Many studies show how valuable this is to all members of the family. It should be a time of sharing and “catching up” with the activities of each. If there are unpleasant topics, disagreements or criticisms to discuss, they need to be left for another time.

To stay at the table and use good table manners. This isn’t the time to jump up and down from their chair but to remain seated until excused. Having good table manners makes mealtime much more pleasant for everyone.

Mealtime is a good time to sit together, learn about the foods to eat, about table manners, and how to talk to one another. Mealtimes can be the highlight of the day but everyone needs to work on making this time enjoyable.

Enjoy your mealtimes,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Check out our children’s cookbooks here

 What are Mealtime Goals?
PinExt What are Mealtime Goals?