Imagine if your kids were as excited as you were to prepare
some amazing meals with this gorgeous display of fruits and veggies? For most of us, the reality is our kids may think the
colours here look pretty, but don't you dare put that stuff on their plate!
A few weeks ago I embarked on a new journey of healthy eating and I bought shares of a local Organic farm.
They send me a full or half bushel (pictured) of amazing organic fruits and veggies either every week or every other week
depending on what you choose. It won't be easy to convince my kids to try yellow zucchini or enjoy cooked kale but there
are little things we can do to help them make healthier choices.
as parents start making decisions the minute our children are born that will affect how and what they will eat for the rest
of their lives. I believe there are some simple steps we can take right from the beginning to give them a healthy start, and
besides, we only have a few years before they start to "catch on"!!
Making your own baby food . . . I know I know - blah. Why make your own when there
are inexpensive jars of "all natural" baby food on store shelves? Most of those jars are on store shelves because
they have preservatives in them so they don't go bad. There are so many benefits to making your own - I realized that when
I cook & puree my own veggies I can control the salt, the sugar & the consistency - add more or less water for thicker
or thiner baby food . . hint, thicker food is less messy!!
whole wheat bread . . . my children have never had white bread. Well, not in my house! My oldest was 6 years old
before she figured out there even was another kind of bread. Had it at a friends house and thought it was the greatest tasting
invention ever! Still none in my house!
vegetables . . . my kids have long out grown baby food, but I still cook and puree tons of veggies. I am not above
hiding vegetables in my spaghetti sauces, macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper meals and even in muffins, cookies and brownies.
Why not? They get all the nutrients and I get none of the grief . .they don't even know its in there!! My latest sauce had
so much spinach and cauliflower I thought I was caught . .you could see the green bits, but it was a huge hit here.
Healthy cereal . . . No, Fruit Loops are not a healthy
cereal! I only buy low sugar, simple cereals for our cupboard which my kids can help themselves to anytime. I offer 4 different
cereals but none of them have chocolate or marshmallow thingys in them! I do buy treat cereals for just that, a treat . .
but that treat is a dessert or a car snack for long trips. It is never the food they start their day with!
Juice . . . once a day. I'd rather they have real fruit
and yes, I know juice from concentrate can be good for you in moderation. I think that is the key. There are good vitamins
in juice but also a lot of sugar (26grams in a cup of apple juice!). My kids have always only been allowed 1 juice a day.
Once thats done, your other choices are milk or water. And those drinks pretending to be juice? Those crystals and drink blends
and juice hidden behind a label that says 'cocktail' . . . they are not juice!! If you do buy juice, make sure it's 100% real
Lastly . . . vitamins, because
really I can't talk about healthy kids without talking about vitamins!! Even though my husband formulates, manufactures and
sells (amazing!) vitamins, we still make sure our kids eat fruit, grain, vegetable, protein and drink their milk. The vitamins
are the extra . . .our girls are not big eaters so we know they need a bit more to get their daily requirements. Once your
children reach two years of age, find a vitamin they like to take . . make it a fun and enjoyable experience. These days there
are chewables, liquids and gummies on the market, have your child help you pick them out at the store, hand them out at home
and take your own vitamins and set a good example. Of course, watch your ingredient lists here too . . .all vitamins are not
created equal! Look for ones without sugar fillers, sugar coating, aspartame, coloured dyes or ingredients you can't pronounce
I know I can only make the decisions about
what my kids eat for a few more years and then they will decide what choices to make at the cafeteria and the grocery store.
I can only hope I have given them a few simple lessons to make informed & healthy decisions . . .most of the time! Do
you have any simple tricks you use at home?