Posts

Make Healthy Snacking Easy!

Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen table or counter top. It makes it easier to choose a healthy snack when it’s in plain sight!

 

6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruit (And Love It!)

How can you get your kids to eat more fruit? Here are six tips you can use to guide them without saying a word:

  1. Eat Together: If you snack on fruit in front of your kids, they’re more likely to meet their fruit and vegetable requirements.
  2. Keep Trying: Many children reject new foods because they’re afraid of them, not because they don’t like the taste. Don’t give up! You may need to present a new fruit 10 times or more before they’ll accept it.
  3. Slice Fruit: Your kids may be more likely to want sliced fruit than whole fruit. ]
  4. Use Stickers: Stickers: so simple, yet so powerful. If you stick a popular cartoon character on a piece of fruit, you may find your child more excited about eating it.
  5. Let Them Pick Their Fruit: While it’s not as exciting as plucking fruit off a tree, your children can still participate in the picking process at the grocery store.
  6. Mix It Up: Offer fruit in a variety of forms, textures and shapes. Experiment with frozen, freeze-dried, canned, fresh and dried fruit, as well as 100 percent juice and nectar.

Real Food Drive and Fruit-Grams at Winter Park High School

Using #nocandygrams, Live Life Healthy (LLH) students promoted “fruit-grams” to Winter Park High School students on Dec. 10.  The fruit-grams served as a healthy alternative to the traditional candy gram.

On December 14th, through the efforts of the LLH Real Food Drive, LLH students were able to give out 240 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to Winter Park High School students.

 

Healthy Holiday Snacks at Brookshire Elementary

Ms. Overstreet’s class at Brokshire Elementary sure does know how to mix fun and healthy together!  Check out the cute candy canes and snowman snacks these Kindergarten students made from fruit.

Way to go, Ms. Overstreet’s Kindergarten class!

Keep Sugar From Overtaking Your Child’s Diet

US dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. On a 1,500-calorie diet, a level appropriate for moderately active 4- to 8-year-olds, just less than 10% would be about 33 grams of added sugars per day.

In August, the American Heart Association issued stricter sugar recommendations designed to keep kids healthy, stating that children should consume less than 6 teaspoons — or 24 grams — of added sugars per day. It also recommended that children and teens should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to no more than 8 ounces per week.

So what can parents do to keep sugar from overtaking their kids’ diets? Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t deprive your kids of sweets.

Despite the consequences, health professionals agree that parents shouldn’t deprive their child of sweets. The key is to help children find a balance with food, helping them learn how to enjoy healthy foods and enjoy (and self-regulate) treats.

Allow children one sweet treat or dessert per day.
Good choices include animal crackers, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Keep fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house.
There’s no nutritional benefit to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. For an alternative to soda, dilute 4 ounces unsweetened juice with 4 ounces seltzer water and flavor with lemon, lime or other fresh fruit.

Watch out for sugars in foods that you don’t think of as sweet.
Keep an eye on breads, sauces and condiments by searching ingredient lists for names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or other words ending in “ose,” evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Food packages will soon list “added sugars” as a separate line on nutrition labels, so the amount of these sugars will no longer be “hidden.”

Remember, even natural sugar is sugar.
Many people think that “natural” sugars like honey and agave are healthier than ones that are more highly processed, like sucrose or table sugar. But when you look closely, you see that all of these sugars contain fructose and glucose. And while honey may offer some antioxidants, you would probably have to consume a lot of honey calories in order to experience any health benefits.

This doesn’t mean foods containing natural sugars aren’t healthy. But how these natural sugars are packaged matters.

A piece of whole fruit like an apple contains naturally occurring fructose, but it also delivers 4.4 grams of fiber, thanks to the peel and pulp. Apple juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber and is a more concentrated source of sugar and calories.

Easy Ways to Use Frozen Produce

Adapted from Produce for Kids

frozen fruit

We try to get as many fruits and vegetables into our child’s diet as possible but it can be expensive and take a lot of time!  A great solution to decrease cost and time is to incorporate frozen produce.  Here are some tips from our friends at Produce for Kids to help you ensure your child is getting their five servings of fruits and vegetables even when their favorites may not be in season:

  1. Stir-it up.  A simple veggie stir-fry utilizing a bag of frozen veggies, sautéed with peanut sauce and piled on a serving of steamed brown rice is a go-to recipe. You can check it out by clicking here.
  2. Get souped. It’s such a shame to let your beautiful leafy greens wilt and make their way to the trash. Instead, opt for frozen spinach or kale to add in soups or casseroles for an added boost of fiber and nutrients, without the risk of spoiled produce.
  3. Embrace the smoothie craze. If you’re one of those people that repeatedly falls short on meeting your fruit and veggie goal, start your day with a smoothie. You can add all kinds of powerful plant foods, from berries to greens to tropical fruits! Even better, enjoy your creation smoothie-bowl style. Allow yourself the chance to sit down and mindfully “eat your smoothie.”
  4. Be innovative. Thawed, frozen corn is a delicious addition to homemade salsas while thawed, frozen peas add a burst of flavor and texture to veggie-heavy salads. And fruit can be used in a variety of baked goods, such as breads and muffins. When baking with frozen raspberries, leave them frozen until you are ready to add to the batter so they maintain their integrity and won’t “bleed.”
  5. Feast on fruit for dessert. You won’t only be satisfying your sweet tooth with fruit, you’ll be consuming more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, too. Thawed, frozen raspberries topped with a spoonful of yogurt, a drizzle of dark chocolate or a sprinkling of homemade granola might just change the way you look at dessert.
  6. Get saucy. Frozen fruit is ideal for creating a fruit compote to top on your pancakes or waffles. Or better yet, let your frozen fruit take a walk on the wild side and create the sweet-savory balance by using it as an ingredient for a marinade or salsa in your dinner recipes.

Click here for more information, including yummy recipes!

10 Smoothies for Kids

Kids smoothiesAdapted from Vitamix

Incorporating veggies into the family diet in subtle ways can help expand the palate and cultivate a taste for vegetables. Smoothies use the natural sweetness of fruit as the perfect disguise. Pineapple, orange, and grapes are particularly good smoothie ingredients to marry with vegetables. Apples can offset greens with a slight “bite” such as spinach. Cucumber adds a crisp finish without taking center stage. Try these recipes for nutrition that looks as wonderful as it tastes.

  1. Beet, Strawberry, Cranberry Smoothie
    Bright, beautiful, and bursting with flavor.
  2. Fruit Salad Smoothie
    Carrot and cucumber go incognito in this delicious medley of fruit.
  3. Gold Medal Smoothie
    Fresh fruit and carrot create a winning combination. Add protein powder for sustained energy when you’re on the go.
  4. All Green Smoothie
    Broccoli and greens are tucked neatly behind the sweetness of grapes, pear, avocado, and pineapple juice.
  5. Everything Smoothie
    With carrot, broccoli, spinach, and six different fruits, this recipe lives up to its name.

For smoothies 6-10, visit the Vitamix website.

Kids in the Kitchen – Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to have your kids cook along side you!  While you’re busy making Thanksgiving dinner, task them with one of these kid friendly recipes:

Thanksgiving10_Food_CarrotPumpkinTurkey_A_393034

 

 

Carrot and Pumpkin Turkey Snack  When kids are involved in making a dish, they’re more likely to taste (and like) it. They’ll have fun assembling this fun-to-eat dish, and they can nibble on it while the turkey is cooking. (It won’t spoil dinner, we promise!)

 

 

 

 

pumpkin_turkey_muffin

 

 

Kids’ DIY Turkey Muffins – This is just as healthy and yummy as any pumpkin muffin—it’s just way more fun to make and eat!

 

 

Thanksgiving Apples Final

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Apples and Dip – This is a fun simple, and light appetizer to start off your Thanksgiving feasting.  Easy to prepare, can be done in advance, and fun for the kids.

 

 

turkey-pancakes

 

 

 

Turkey Pancakes – A simple Thanksgiving breakfast, that the kids will love. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and fruit to decorate.

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey-fruit-platter (1)

 

 

 

Turkey Fruit Platter – This fruit platter can be a healthy Thanksgiving snack for the kids or an alternative dessert with chocolate fondue.

 

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving themed recipe for kids?  Share it with us, healthykidstoday@wphf.org

Healthy Halloween Recipes

Healthy-Halloween-Treats-014-1024x768Orange Jack ‘o Lanterns: Use a black permanent marker to draw a Jack ‘o Lantern face on oranges. Alternatively, you could cut out the shapes on black paper and and stick them on the orange. Either way, you should be sure to wash the orange thoroughly first to remove any oils and residues from the peel.

 

 

 

 

PopcornBagPopcorn Goody Bags:  Stove-popped popcorn mixed with roasted pumpkin seeds (you can either roast your own from a fresh pumpkin or use raw pumpkin seeds)*. You can also toss a few pieces of candy corn into each bag for fun.

 

 

 

 

Fruit Kpumpkin_kabob200abobs in a Pumpkin:  Draw a funny face on a pumpkin.  Put your child’s favorite fruit on wooden skewers.  Poke them into the pumpkin and you have an easy treat for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more ideas, see this resource from the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Healthy Nutrition Habits for Adolescents

produce

Adolescence is a time of rapid change and development. Setting the foundations for healthy nutrition habits will help adolescents grow into strong, healthy adults. Encourage good nutrition with these resources:

  • While type 2 diabetes is generally thought of as an adult disease, the CDC reports that more than 5,000 new cases are diagnosed among youth under the age of 20 each year.
  • Inspire adolescents to eat well with these healthy recipes from their peers who won the White House Kids’ “State Dinner” competition.
  • Show adolescents that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring with these playful snack ideas that encourage fruit and vegetable consumption.

Provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health