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?

Getting Kids in the Kitchen – Preparing and Eating Food

PinExt Getting Kids in the Kitchen   Preparing and Eating Food

It’s important that children not only learn to appreciate food, but also learn to cook for themselves. Even preschool children can learn how to help with meals and prepare or help cook simple foods.

Teaching children to cook is probably the best way to get kids to eat right and respect food. The whole point of getting them in the kitchen and involved is to get them to feel and taste the food. Let them use their sense of smell, taste, and touch. Children need to be exposed to different foods several times before they will taste it. Preparing it themselves increases their interest and desire to try it.

Children love the experience of mixing, stirring, and chopping, depending on age. Let them discover the joy of creating delicious, healthy dishes by encouraging them to help you.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get dinner going with your young help, is to work together preparing roasted vegetables. For this you and the children scrub the vegetables well and then cut them up into about same-size pieces. This can be foods such as potatoes (white or sweet), carrots, onion, garlic, green and red pepper, celery, mushrooms, squash, broccoli and others.

Then the children can dribble a little virgin olive oil over them, stir well to distribute the oil, and splash a little balsamic vinegar over them, along with a little salt and fresh ground pepper.

Spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or other large flat pan. Roast in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Using a long handled spatula, you need to stir them periodically to keep them from sticking to the bottom.

They will come out with a nice dark color, perhaps more brown in places, but crispy, and oh, so good.

Even though you start with a large quantity of vegetables, the children will be amazed how much  smaller the portion is after roasting. Take time to explain here the reason for this.

300px Grilled vegetables Getting Kids in the Kitchen   Preparing and Eating Food

You may want to add a protein to the meal, such as cooked chicken, hamburger, or roast beef. Or you can just sprinkle shredded Parmesan or Cheddar cheese over the vegetables and you and your helpers have just prepared a one dish meal for your family.

Let’s stay healthy,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate, author

http://www.HealthyEatingTips.com

http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com

 Getting Kids in the Kitchen   Preparing and Eating Food
PinExt Getting Kids in the Kitchen   Preparing and Eating Food

What Affects Your Food Choices?

PinExt What Affects Your Food Choices?
300px Food in a restaurant 2 What Affects Your Food Choices?

Image via Wikipedia

Do you eat only because you need food to stay alive? Or only for good health? Of course not! There are so many reasons why you choose to eat the food you do.

Food choices are based on cultural, religious, social, or psychological reasons. Even your own personal values enter into choosing foods. Sometimes, too, you eat what you eat because it’s the only food available when you need it.

Different cultures tend to center their foods around certain types. When one refers to Italian, Mexican, American foods, a certain kind of food comes to mind. Usually this is because of climate or geography that a particular food is grown there and becomes popular. Perhaps it is the custom or tradition to serve certain foods at festivals or special occasions and now becomes a food associated with a particular culture.

Religious influences such as not eating pork or not eating meat on certain days are special food customs of certain religions. Some are discouraged from drinking coffee and tea and alcoholic drinks. Fasting from foods is practiced by some religious groups.

Wouldn’t you think something was wrong with a get-together if there wasn’t something to eat or drink? Eating is very much a social activity. Most people don’t like to eat alone. Mealtimes with families are some of the first experiences of a social setting for children – a time of sharing the day’s events. Hopefully, with our fast-paced living, this social interaction will not become a lost art, but that families will continue to eat meals together.

Have you been a part of the “clean your plate” syndrome? Or, perhaps as a child you were given certain foods like candy or ice cream for good behavior. These are all part of the different ways you now look at food by what was encountered through associations with others. Maybe, too, you eat because you are unhappy or sad and lonely. These are all psychological reasons why you may choose to eat certain foods.

Then there are other, personal reasons why certain foods are eaten. It may have to do with a food allergy or condition, or because of a weight problem. Maybe it is because it smells so good and past experience lets you know it tastes good. Is it avoided because it is too expensive, or is it eaten because it is expensive and this is what the “rich people” eat? Here status comes into play.

So, you see, there are many influences that shape your eating habits and food choices: some are cultural, others are religious, social, or psychological. Hopefully, too, there is consideration of whether the food is healthy and good for you.

Why do YOU choose the foods you do when you are:

at the mall or fast food restaurant?
at a fancy restaurant?
at a cafeteria (school, business, or restaurant)?
in the grocery store?

I invite you to comment on why you eat the foods you eat.

Best to you and your family,
Lee Jackson, CFCS
Author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards
The Littlest Christmas Kitten, a children’s story book

 What Affects Your Food Choices?
PinExt What Affects Your Food Choices?

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

Eating Without Thinking

PinExt Eating Without Thinking
2596003593 5df9e6a1f7 m Eating Without Thinking

Image by Clover_1 via Flickr

Have you ever eaten soggy potato chips right down to the greasy bottom of the package? Or eaten dried out cake to the last few crumbs? Why do we eat foods that don’t even look or taste good?

Hard questions to ponder.

For help in getting you and/or your children out of traps such as this and to really appreciate the taste, smell, and enjoy the sight and feel of different foods, head on over to http://HealthyDidsEatingTips.com. While there you can pick up a Free Report with lots of kid-friendly food activities that will make them use their creative thinking skills. Start your kids out by being really aware of what they are eating.

You will be glad you did.

To your health,

Lee Jackson,CFCS
Healthy eating for healthy kids

 Eating Without Thinking
PinExt Eating Without Thinking