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Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy

August 3, 2010

Part 1 of Getting Our Kids to Eat Healthy

Getting our kids to eat healthy is a group activity

Getting our kids to eat healthy can be a daunting task for many parents.  But especially those parents of children who are picky eaters.

“The best advice for parents is to be a good role model,” says Terri Verason, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition Education Dairy Council of Arizona. “Kids learn so much better by example than by nagging.  Don’t single out an overweight child – make healthy eating and physical activity part of the routine for your whole family.”

There are times it’s easy to let good nutrition slip and pick up foods that offer no nutritional value, but are quick and easy. It’s easy, though to incorporate healthy eating habits into your family’s daily routine and if your children see you snacking on veggies rather than candy or chips, chances are, they will follow your lead.

If parents try to incorporate nutrient rich foods, plus physical activity their children will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Why not have your children help prepare the menu for one meal a day? Let them choose what you will eat, help you shop for the ingredients and then prepare it (under parental supervision, of course!)

Getting children involved in the preparation of healthy meals, and giving them a say in it, could go a long way in helping them learn to make healthy choices when it comes to healthy, nutritious meals.

As a way to get the day started, here’s a recipe from the Dairy Council of Arizona.

Picture Perfect Breakfast

Ingredients:
1 tube of refrigerated bread stick dough
6 eggs plus 1 egg for egg wash
2 tablespoons milk
1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (more if desired)
Toppings of your choice (see below)
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Topping Suggestions:
Approx. ¼ cup each:

Chopped cooked bacon or sausage
Sliced mushrooms
Diced fresh or sun-dried tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Chopped turkey or ham
Cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

Green or red peppers, sliced or diced
Pepperoni

Directions:
In a greased shallow baking sheet (approx 9 ½ by 11 inch) line the rim with 6 to 8 of the bread strips, (twisted slightly) creating a frame of bread. (Pinch together bread sticks to form a continuous frame.)

Next, make one horizontal and two vertical rows with remaining bread strips, creating squares, about 3 inches in diameter. Brush bread dough with slightly beaten egg. (This creates a beautiful shiny finished dough frame and it helps to “glue” the bread strips together.)

Fill each square with ¼ cup cheese and ¼ cup desired topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 6 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk. Pour egg mixture over bread picture frame and toppings, covering the bread. Add salt and pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown and eggs are cooked. Remove from oven and brush melted butter over bread frame. Slice in squares, using the bread dough to frame each slice.

If you’re looking for something easier, and quicker, but still nutritionally complete for breakfast try the Yogurt Parfait Buffet.

Preparation Instructions

Start with one 8 oz container of yogurt of kid’s choice.
Offer two bowls of freshly cut fruit or berries and one or two bowls of granola and nuts. Don’t have granola? Chop up a couple of granola or breakfast bars.
Let the kids build their own Yogurt Parfait buffet!

There are only TWO RULES:
1. You have to have at least 3 layers of yogurt.
2. You can build as big as you want, but you have to eat what you build!

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