Tag Archives: healthy food

Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy – Tip Sheet: How to make healthy eating fun for kids!

teaching kids to eat healthy

Teaching kids to eat healthy – make it fun!

Preschoolers:  Entice picky eaters with whimsical food shapes.  Make sandwiches, fruit and veggies interesting by using cookie cutters to transform them in to fun and inviting shapes. Also, keep foods colorful!

2012-03-31-fun-shaped-party-foods-cheese-580w

Elementary or Middle School:  At this age kids want to feel like they have some say in what they eat. Let your kids plan the menu. Take them shopping with you to buy all the ingredients. Let them help you prepare the meal.  Kids are generally more likely to eat healthy food when they have made some decisions about the meal.

High School: Oh the wonderful teens! At this age you must think like a teen. Focus on how eating healthier food will help them perform better at sports, a musical, dance or dramatic production, or in science or math club. Talk about how eating healthy is relevant to their life now rather than some far-off goal like preventing heart disease.

Bonus: Make preparing healthy food fun for you by blending in healthy ingredients to your child’s favorite dishes.  A little sneaky, yes, but fun all the same!

Examples of sneaking in goodness:

  • Blend in finely chop carrots or mushrooms into spaghetti sauce.
  • Shred some zucchini and mix it in with pancake or waffle batter. Cook as usual and the zucchini will melt right in.
  • Sprinkle finely chopped spinach or kale on top of pizza before or after baking.
  • Finely mince vegetables and add them to hamburger or turkey patties.
  • Add shredded zucchini and/or carrots to your next batch of homemade muffins.

Are You A Healthy Food (Shopping) Snob?

The other day my daughter came home from school and said to me, “ mommy so-n-so said that you couldn’t find anything healthy to eat at Target.”  Keeping in mind that this statement stems from parental influence, my response was, “everyone has different rules for what type of food they will and will not allow in their homes and where they purchase it. That being said, people need to not feel so strongly about their dietary choices and where they purchase them that they insult those who think or choose differently than they do.”

Personally I believe that you can find healthy food or healthy food alternatives just about anywhere, including Target, if you know what to look for.  If buying organic or pesticide free is important to you and you don’t want to spend your “whole paycheck,” know that there are plenty affordable choices out there such as farmer’s markets, local grocery stores and yes, even department stores like Target.

Be an informed consumer and learn to differentiate marketing hype from meaningful words. For example when buying, lets say pasta, look for labels that reflect your values and are important to you e.g. gluten free pasta or 100% organic pasta.  Also, be open to comparison-shopping because you might find a good tasting, high quality organic olive at Target for 6.99 compared to Whole Foods for 9.99. Just saying!