Posts tagged ‘ways to get kids to eat healthy’
The summer is officially here! Chipper is excited for some warm weather fun and all the delicious fruits in season. Once the kids are out of school, it can be hard to make sure they keep eating healthy during the summer slump. On those scorching days, when going to the pool or beach still won’t cool them down, try this simple, HEALTHY Ice Pop recipe rather than giving in to the ice cream truck man! As Chipper always says, “Healthy before Sweet, Can’t be Beat!” Plus, it can be a fun activity to try with your kids!
The recipe is very simple: fresh squeezed lemonade poured over chunks of juicy fruit and then frozen. All you need are some freezer popsicle containers, which you can find at most stores or online for as little as $3, and some fruit! We used kiwis and blueberries here because they look so cool suspended together in the golden ice, but you can use any kind of fresh fruit you like — pineapple, strawberries, mango — there are no end to the possibilities.
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4-5 lemon’s squeezed)
1/4 cup agave or honey
8 kiwi slices (or try a cut up Banana)
16 blueberries (or try sliced Strawberry’s)
1. In a bowl, mix together the water, lemon juice and agave.
2. Place 3-5 blueberries and 1 or 2 kiwi slices in each ice pop mold.
3. Gently pour the liquid mixture into each mold. You can reposition the fruit after you’ve poured in the liquid.
4. Freeze 6 hours or until frozen through.
5. Serve and Enjoy!
Your kids will love making and eating these tasty snacks! It also is a great way for them to cool down while getting their daily intake of fruit needed to keep them strong and healthy. Please share your different fruit combo’s with us this summer! When life gives you lemons…make some popsicles!
Being a Squirrel, Chipper loves eating his fresh greens! That’s why he always says, “Green before sweet, can’t be beat!” Getting your kids to love them too can be challenging in our sugar-saturated culture. Half of what we eat should be from the ground or a tree–especially for growing kids who are still developing–yet many kids eat hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets for dinner rather than broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and squash. According to a 2009 statistical research study by Ohio State University, only 22% of children ages 2 to 5 meet government recommendations for vegetable consumption. And it only gets worse as kids age: only 16% of children ages 6 to 11 meet the guidelines and only 11% of those ages 12 to 18. In the study, more than 6,000 kids and teens ate fried potatoes as a third of their vegetable intake. Once our body tries those salty saturated fats, it craves more of them and getting your kids to eat healthier can seem impossible.
- Get them while they’re hungry! If they are hungry, they’ll eat. Before dinner, serve an appetizer of colorful vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers, along with hummus or low-fat salad dressing.
- Institute the “no thank you bite” rule. Tell your child to take a bite before vetoing something on his or her plate. Even if they don’t like it at first, at least they’ll eventually get comfortable with it.
- Make up cute names! Marketers do this, so why shouldn’t you? One mom starting calling Brussels sprouts “hero buttons” and her kids couldn’t get enough of them.
- Shop with your kids. Letting your kids help you pick out the fruits and vegetables makes them feel like it’s their food choice. This also allows them to really appreciate all the smells and admire all the colors of the many different kinds of produce, thus making them more appealing!
- Cook with your kids. When you have your son or daughter help make the green beans by adding a bit of butter and some seasoning, they will be more likely to insist on eating them since they “made them.” Then, as long as they can help to prepare their veggies, they’ll eat them!
- Have a “veggie night.” This way, there is no competition from other food nights. Having a “Meatless Monday” is a great way to avoid eating meats too much (a common American vice) while providing a great opportunity to serve up those Mushroom burgers with Swiss cheese–Yum!
- Hide the veggies. In author Jessica Seinfeld’s book “Deceptively Delicious,” she tells parents how to stealthily sneak pureed vegetables into everything from shrimp dumplings to quesadillas.
- Make fruits and vegetables the easy option. Take a tip from the geniuses who thought to put potato chips in single-serving bags. Stock a kid-accessible shelf in your fridge with little bags of cut vegetables, applesauce and fruit cups.
- Let them use fun gadgets! What kid doesn’t love gadgets? Let them use the blender, juicer, and food processors to make smoothies and other recipes with fruits and vegetables. Use proper supervision, of course.
- Bribe them with dessert. This is the classic strategy–kids didn’t finish what was good for them? No problem–no dessert. Maybe it’s not the healthiest way to get them to eat vegetables, but it works.
Eating right is important–it effects our body’s chemistry so we feel good to! With all the sugary preservatives everywhere and in schools, it can be hard to get your kids eating and craving the right foods. Please let us know about any of your strategies for getting the kids to eat healthy!