Posts tagged: education

10 Ways to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies

A few healthy tips for the new year to get your kids off to good start!

vegetables

 

If your kids are veggie haters, you might find yourself playing hide-and-seek come mealtime. Peas hidden in pancakes? Check. Squash added to pasta sauce? Yep. Pureed spinach in fruit smoothies? Of course.

But as your kids grow older (and wiser), it might be time to stop hiding the vegetables and start teaching your kids to enjoy healthful, nutritious foods as they are. And fortunately, research has shown there are less excruciating ways to teach your kids to like vegetables than forcing them to sit at the table for hours, staring at an untouched plate of broccoli. Read on for painless ways to up your family’s vegetable consumption.

1. Don’t treat veggies as the enemy. “Kids hear a lot of negative messages about healthy eating,” says Sheela Raja, PhD, an assistant professor and clinical psychologist at the University of Illinois in Chicago. “When we say things like ‘you have to eat your Brussels sprouts before you get any dessert,’ we are sending a message that vegetables are something to be tolerated, not enjoyed.” Let your kids know that all food groups serve as fuel for the body and that nutrition plays a big role in growing up healthy and strong, she adds.

2. Stop hiding vegetables. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that kids will happily eat baked goods that contain vegetables — even when they know there are veggies in the dough. In the study, researchers served zucchini chocolate-chip bread, broccoli gingerbread spice cake, and chickpea chocolate-chip cookies to groups of schoolchildren. Kids liked the zucchini and broccoli treats, and only vetoed the chickpea cookies because they were unfamiliar with chickpeas.

3. Put the power of nutrition in kids’ hands. Researchers in the Netherlands studied 259 children between the ages of 4 and 12 and found that when kids got to choose which fruits and vegetables to eat, they were more likely to consume a healthy amount of vegetables without complaint.

4. Grow your own. “Kids love this,” says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, a nutrition professor at Boston University and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If you can, start a small garden and let the kids become farmers. They will have a ball watching their veggies grow and then eating them.”

5. Stick to vegetables with crunch. Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands gave children carrots and French beans prepared six different ways, and found that the kids overwhelming preferred “crispy, crunchy, and juicy” veggies over “mushy, squishy, and slimy.” Sorry, okra.

6. Do as you say. “The best way for adults to encourage vegetable consumption among their children is to be good role models,” Blake says. “If you eat them and enjoy them, the kids will follow your lead.”

7. Consider nonfood rewards. Stickers might be the ticket to a happier dinner table, researchers in the United Kingdom found. In their study, 173 families with 3- and 4-year-old children were divided into three groups. One group of kids got a sticker after trying a bit of a disliked vegetable, the second group got verbal praise, and the third group was not rewarded. After 12 days, the children who received the stickers were eating more vegetables (and liking them better) than the other two groups. After one and three months, the kids were still eating their veggies. .

However, not everyone is a fan of this method. Both Raja and Blake fear this idea sends the message that vegetables are so distasteful, a prize is necessary to eat them.

8. Make food fun. Researchers from Temple University wanted to see if offering a salad dressing “dip” along with broccoli could make a group of 152 preschoolers tolerate the much-reviled vegetable. After giving kids the healthful green twice a week for seven weeks, they found the youngsters were more likely to eat the vegetable when it was paired with dip, even when the dip was low-fat. Blake suggests using salsa instead of high-calorie dressings and to try the technique with more than just broccoli. For example, quarter and seed red, yellow, or green bell peppers and have kids use them as salsa “scoops,” she suggests. For example, have your kids use quartered and seeded red, yellow, or green bell peppers and as salsa scoops.

9. Ask other caregivers to help. Discuss your preferences and expectations for vegetable consumption with caregivers at your child’s daycare or school. If you pack lunch for your children, encourage them to eat well when you’re not there to supervise.

10. Don’t give up. As with so many aspects of parenting, persistence and consistency are critical to the success of your veggie game plan. It can take 10 or more exposures to a single vegetable before a kid becomes accustomed to a particular taste, Blake says, so keep trying.

Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/ways-to-get-kids-to-eat-their-veggies.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthDietandNutrition_20130101

 

Mr. Halloweenster Saves the Day (Kids Halloween Book)

http://mrhalloweenster.com/index.php

Mr. Halloweenster is the kids Halloween hero. He’s always there to help with costumes, pumpkin carving and everything else that makes Halloween fun. But this time, while Mr. Halloweenster is helping the kids, there’s something tricky happening at the JunkVittles Candy factory. Mr. MeanyPants and Dr. JunkVittles are making candy that will make the kids forget about their costumes and the Halloween parade. Only Mr. Halloweenster can save the day!


Looking for an activity in your classroom for a Halloween party?

Check out this colorful, animated Halloween children’s book and it encourages healthy eating too!

Also, a great tool to use to talk to your kids about moderation and

enjoying Halloween at the same time!

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the candy!

Buy it right here from Amazon!

See Below…

 

 

Buying School Lunch… How does it work?

 

 

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, is changing the School Lunch Program.  The requirements will raise standards for the first time in more than fifteen years and will result in healthier meals for kids that participate in school meal programs across the nation.  These new standards require schools to serve more fruits and vegetables (including beans, dark green and orange vegetables every week), switch to whole grains, serve only low-fat or no-fat milk, and limit the sodium and calories in each meal.

School meals must meet these new requirements starting in the 2012-2013 school year.  In addition to the foods that the schools must offer to students, the new requirements state what the student must take in order for that lunch to be considered a student meal.

What is a student meal?

A complete student meal has 5 components or food groups – Bread, Protein, Fruits, Vegetables and Milk. The student may select 1 item from each food group, but the student must take at least 3 different food groups to make a meal that is charged the student lunch price, which is a reimbursable meal.  A ‘reimbursable’ meal means that the meal selected meets all the requirements of the National School Lunch Program.  In meeting these requirements, each school district receives federal and state funding to offset food service expenses.  Because of this funding, we are able to keep student lunch prices reasonably low.

How is the student meal different under the new law?

As mentioned above, school must offer a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day.  Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, one of the food groups on the student’s lunch tray must be fruits or vegetables in order to qualify for the student lunch price.  If a student does not select fruits or vegetables along with the other required food groups, then that meal would not be considered a student meal and the student would be charged the a la carte pricing. A la carte pricing can be more expensive because each item is charged separately rather than as a meal which consists of 5 different food groups.

 

Parents, go over the school menu with your children so they understand what makes a complete meal. Teach your kids!!

For more information please click here:  USDA