Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guest Blogger: Phyllis Pellman Good

Earlier today, I reviewed a fantastic new cookbook called FIX-IT AND ENJOY-IT! HEALTHY COOKBOOK by Phyllis Pellman Good. I thought this cookbook has so many ideas on how to incorporate healthier eating into our busy lifestyles. I'd like to share with you some of Ms. Pellman Good's tips for moms.

Tips for Helping Children Eat Healthy
by Phyllis Pellman Good,
Author of Fix-It and Enjoy It! Healthy Cookbook: 400 Great Stove-Top and Oven Recipes

Helping kids eat a healthy diet doesn't have to be difficult. Here are 12 tips:

1. Make it fun. Serve broccoli and other veggies with a favorite fat-free dip or sauce. Cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters.

2. Recruit your child's help. At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Don't buy anything that you don't want your child to eat. At home, let your child help choose what to eat, and also help you rinse veggies, stir batter, or set the table.

3. Be cunning. Add chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, top cereal with fruit slices, and mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups. Serve veggies first at mealtime, when children are hungriest.

4. Don't offer dessert as a reward. Withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which may only increase your child's desire for sweets. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week. Or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt, or other healthy choices.

5. Designate a snacking zone. Restrict snacking to the kitchen. You'll save your children countless calories from mindless munching in front of the TV.

6. Make it quick. If your children need to snack on the go, think beyond a bag of potato chips. Offer string cheese, fresh fruit, cereal bars, or other drip-free items.

7. Go for the grain. Whole-grain snacks -- such as whole-grain pretzels or tortillas and low-sugar, whole-grain cereals -- can give your children energy with some staying power.

8. Pull out the blender. Use skim milk, fat-free yogurt, and fresh fruit to make your own smoothies.

9. Promote independence. Make it east for older children to help themselves. Keep a selection of ready-to-eat veggies in the refrigerator. Leave fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter. Store low-sugar, whole-grain cereal in an easily accessible cabinet. Stock fruit, either canned or packaged in its own juice, in your pantry.

10. Use some imagination. Offer something new, such as fresh pineapple, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, or roasted soy nuts. Slice a whole-wheat pita and serve with hummus.

11. Mix and match. Serve baby carrots or other raw veggies with fat-free ranch dressing. Dip graham crackers or fresh fruit in fat-free yogurt. Top celery, apple, or bananas with peanut butter.

12. Set a good example. Let your children catch you munching raw vegetables or snacking on a bowl of grapes. If you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit.


bermudaonion said...

These are all great suggestions! I still use grated carrots and zucchini in some of our meals. Vance didn't have candy until he was about 2 - and he doesn't eat much to this day.

Karlie said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

Jen - devourer of books said...

These are some fantastic tips. I think the dessert tip, in particular is important to remember. It is almost a cultural norm to have dessert as a reward/punishment thing, so even thought that tip makes sense, it might not be something that people think of.