Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

PinExt Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

Parents should help children make good food choices. Food preferences in children are largely developed by age five. Therefore, it’s important that parents help their children develop a taste for nutritious food early.

Here are ways you can involve your children in making good food choices:

Talk to your children about the categories of foods that are most important. These would include: fruits and vegetables, meat or protein alternatives, breads and cereals, and milk.

Help them cut out pictures of foods from magazines or newspapers. Make sure they have foods from all the groups. When they find pictures of cookies and ice cream, ask whether those have a place in their “good food choice” list? You can tell them they are not “bad” but there are other foods that are better for growing strong bones and muscles.

Have children paste the foods on file cards or construction paper. You can use different colored paper for different food groups: green for the vegetable and fruits, white for the milk group, red for the meat and protein group, and blue for the bread and cereal.

Let children decide which foods from each group they would like to eat. This is a good way for them to see that choosing one food from each group works toward having a balanced meal.

Another card can be made up of “special treat” foods. These are foods eaten only once in a great while. This will probably include pictures of frozen yogurt, cookies, and other sweet and/or high fat foods such as French fries and potato chips.

Here is a recipe for a “special treat” food, granola, which can be a breakfast food with milk or eaten plain as a snack food. It has many ingredients that are very nutritious.

Granola

4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using any salted nuts)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

Extra suggestions – may be added when oat mixture has browned:
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup of any dried fruit such as raisins, cranberried, pineapple, cherries, etc.

Preheat over to 350 degree F.

In a large bowl, combine oats, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt butter in small saucepan or microwave, add honey or syrup. Pour this mixture over the oatmeal mixture until all is coated.

Spread this on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking and stirring often until flakes are light brown. Watch carefully as they can over-brown easily and the honey will burn and taste bitter. Go light, rather than dark.

When slightly cool, add any of the extras. Mix well. Store in airtight container. I like to use a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Then I place a scoop inside for easy access. Works well to store in a large glass canister, too. This looks inviting sitting on your cabinet. This granola has much more substance to it than many of the already-prepared products on the market. Enjoy.

Lee Jackson
Home and Family Living

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 Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices
PinExt Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

“Fast Food” for Your Family

PinExt Fast Food for Your Family
300px DriedfruitS Fast Food for Your Family

Image via Wikipedia

Before you go grocery shopping, think of foods your family would like for quick “pick-me-up” snacks. This could be your family’s “fast food”.

Raw fruits and vegetables are great to include. You might consider fruit such as grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries or other berries. Add some veggies like carrots, cut up cauliflower, celery stick and others. And you might want to have on hand non-sweetened cereals, granola bars, yogurt, dried fruits, cheese, whole grain crackers, and nuts.

Especially now when children are home from school for the summer, it’s good to have nutritious grab-and-go foods available.

Here’s to happy and healthy snacking.

Lee Jackson

 Fast Food for Your Family
PinExt Fast Food for Your Family

Take a Look at How You Eat

PinExt Take a Look at How You Eat
202px Colorful Photo of Vegetables Take a Look at How You EatImage via Wikipedia

We live in a hurried world. “Hurry, get ready”. “Hurry, we’re late” are words we may often hear or say.  Sometimes we zip through meals. We eat in cars. We go through drive-ins to grab something to eat.

But eating is serious business as it nourishes our body. We often lose track of the big picture and only think about “now”.

Consider thoughtfully what and how you eat.

Do you allow enough time to eat, and to eat slowly? if you eat slowly you give the body time to feel full. This helps you keep from over-eating.

Do you eat too many BIG meals when more smaller meals would satisfy you?  Big meals tend to cause the body to work harder to digest the food.

Do you tend to skip meals? Skipping meals is not a good habit to get into. This can make you much too hungry when you eat again and then any food looks good.

Snacking is good, but make sure you eat the right snacks. What are some healthy snacks, you ask?

You might try some of the following for those between meal “hungries”:

fresh fruit
dried fruit such as raisins, apples, peaches and others
carrots
celery with peanut butter
raw cauliflower
real cheese
plain yogurt
pretzels
popcorn

This is a start. Can you think of other healthy snacks?

To your health and healthy eating,

Chef Crombie

 Take a Look at How You Eat
PinExt Take a Look at How You Eat