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?

Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

PinExt Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

What child doesn’t come home from school starved? Are you prepared with healthy snack choices?

 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

Perhaps you have a shelf in the refrigerator or a place in the pantry or other area where kids have easy access to healthy snacks. An effort needs to be made, though, to have healthy snacks available.

You control what you have in the house for food. You’re the one deciding what your child is eating at home. Is it going to be some quick packaged food with limited food value or a good quality appetizing snack they can prepare themselves?

For help in deciding what to have for healthy snacks, I’ve developed an entire collection of snack ideas for kids, “How to Solve Your Child’s Munchie Time the Healthy Way – with Easy Recipes and Ideas.” These are food ideas children can prepare themselves, or if very young, with adult help.

This guide to after-school snacks includes lots of healthy and nutritious choices. As eating healthy is of such national concern, chances are your kids are being taught at school about making good choices. This ebook guides them in making good snack choices at home.

In this ebook you will find foods that can be prepared quickly so that the snacks are ready after school or anytime kids get hungry. This prevents the usual reaction of reaching for a quick fix of high calorie, high fat and/or carbohydrate foods.

I know that even very young children love to get involved in planning and preparing their own snacks. And they are more apt to eat the food if they have prepared it. Preparing their own healthy snacks gives children responsibility for what they eat. They also know what goes into the food.

Teachers as well as parents will appreciate this collection of snack ideas. There are many ideas for snacks that can be prepared without the stove or microwave. Teachers and parents really appreciate this.

Food is meant to nourish and sustain  – not only to fill up. I invite you to go to healthykidseatingtips.com and order your copy of “How to Solve Your Child’s Munchie Time the Healthy Way – with Easy Recipes and Ideas” right now right here and start helping children have better and healthier snacks.

Let’s stay healthy,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate, author
www.healthykidseatingtips.com

 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids, Parents, and Teachers
PinExt Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

Choose Wisely When Food Shopping on a Budget

PinExt Choose Wisely When Food Shopping on a Budget
4899870952 9a67b12e5c m Choose Wisely When Food Shopping on a Budget

Image by Bruce A Stockwell via Flickr

With a little planning and effort, choosing foods at the grocery store can be simplified while still saving money and keeping nutritional values up.

Food for the week (or more) depends on how wisely you choose at the grocery store. The first step is planning nutritious menus before you go to the store. Make sure you keep in mind store specials and any coupons you use. Decide on the amount of money to spend based on your budget or food plan.

Then the next step is shopping carefully to assure that what you will have at home is nutritious, tasty, and stays within your allowance – this is no small task.

  • Try to shop only once a week or less frequently. The more you go to the store the more you will likely spend on food and other products.
  • Don’t go to the store hungry. You will probably buy much more than you need. Try to leave young children in the care of others while you shop.
  • Compare the cost of small and large containers of the same product. In most cases the larger size will be more economical. However, it will be more expensive if you won’t use it or don’t have room for it.
  • Consider the cost of convenience foods, that is, foods that are already prepared versus those you have to prepare yourself. For example, can you season the rice at home rather than buying packaged herb rice?  On the other hand, some foods such as cake mixes may be cheaper when found on special than making a cake from scratch. However, look at the ingredients and see whether any food coloring or additives are included, which are less desirable.
  • You gain a great deal of information by reading labels. The ingredient list will give you information about a product’s sugar, sodium, and fat content. Ingredients on labels are listed in descending order according to weight. Therefore, if sugar is the first item on the list, you know it is high in sugar.
  • Choose whole-grain bread and cereal products over white bleached flour products.
  • If you are buying canned fruits, buy those in their own juice rather than those with sweetened juice.
  • Make sure fruit juices are 100 per cent juice. Fruit drink and punches have too much sugar added.
  • Many canned soups, sauce mixes and packaged entrees have high sodium. Do you really need them?
  • Nobody needs pop or soda or cola, or whatever the regional dialect calls it – too much sugar!
  • Encourage the drinking of water. Flavor it, if necessary, with lemon or other fruits.
  • Choose a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are usually less expensive in season and are higher in quality. If you can’t choose these fresh, then buy them canned or frozen. If possible, compare the cost of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried forms of the same food.
  • Many snack foods are high in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.  See whether you can find lighter versions that contain less of these components. Or, just eliminate them from your shopping. If they are not in the house, they won’t be a temptation.
  • Try the “Meatless Monday” schedule for awhile. This promotes healthier eating by emphasizing fruits, vegetables and alternative sources of protein such as beans and lentils that are free from saturated fats. Reducing meat consumption has been shown to provide many benefits, including limiting cancer risk, reducing risk of heart disease, as well as helping to fight obesity and curb diabetes. Chances are, you will not miss having meat at your meals for one day. Besides, meats are usually the most costly foods in a meal and make a huge ecological imprint on our planet.

When you shop for food you have lots of important decisions to make. Wise shopping is not just a matter of spending as little as you can. It means getting the most value for your money while keeping the health benefits of foods at  center stage.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food and Nutrition Specialist
http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com

 Choose Wisely When Food Shopping on a Budget
PinExt Choose Wisely When Food Shopping on a Budget

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

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

P.S. Another issue of my newsletter is coming soon. Sign up and get entered in the drawing for a free cookbook to be given away.

 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

Graduation and End of School

PinExt Graduation and End of School

Everything comes to an end. For many these last days in May are filled with graduation plans and parties and thinking about what the summer, and indeed, the future, will hold for them. These are very festive times as well as bitter sweet times when the joy of the present can turn into feelings of “What now?”

For those of you in this situation of having your years of study come to an end, I wish you well. May all your hopes and dreams for your future be fulfilled. Though “study”, in some form or another, continues throughout life

My term here on this blog is also coming to an end. I have tried to squeeze in this writing, which I love to do, in between my work with food, which I also love to do. But I am finding that the summer is becoming too crowded with work and too busy. Therefore I must close down one part of what I love, to concentrate on the other.

However, I am delegating my writing blog to my friend and fellow food enthusiast, Lee Jackson. I have known Lee for many years, having worked with her on Amy Houts’  first cookbook, “Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Regional Food and Fun”.

She is working with Amy on another book and I am sure she will want to tell you all about its progress, from Amy’s initial interest in working with children, to this, her second book in the series.

I know she will take you on an engaging, informative, and fun-filled food journey.

I thank you for reading my posts these past 2 years and for all your input and comments. It’s been fun reading about your experiences, both food and other, and hopefully I may have contributed some to your love of all things food-related.

I may make some guest appearances so, until we meet again, “so long”, and I wish you good health and good food.

Best wishes,
Chef Crombie

 Graduation and End of School
PinExt Graduation and End of School

Healthy After-School Snack

PinExt Healthy After School Snack
150x101 Healthy After School SnackImage by Getty Images via Daylife

Most children are really hungry when they get home from school. Here is a quick snack even young children can help prepare.

Apple and Cheese Posts

1 apple
2 ounces of Cheddar cheese
Orange juice or other fruit juice
Toothpicks

Cut apple into quarters and remove core. Slice each quarter in half and cut crosswise into bite-size pieces. Dip apple chunks in orange juice or other juice, such as pineapple, lemon or lime.

Cut cheese in cubes about the size of the apples. Stick a toothpick into apples and cheese.  Arrange all on a plate.

Good to the core!

Chef Crombie

 Healthy After School Snack
PinExt Healthy After School Snack

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