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Take the Picky Out of Mealtime

From the American Heart Association:

That scrunched-up nose followed by “Yuck, nope, nuh uh.”

Sometimes it can be a real challenge to cook for a picky eater. But did you know that kids who get involved with meal prep are more likely to give the dish a try?

Get creative and spend time together in the kitchen. Put on some tunes and have them tear up the greens, wash veggies or mix and stir. You’ll get some sous chef action and they’ll be excited to taste their handiwork. Win-win!

Your challenge?  This week, make at least one dish together with your kids.  Click here for more information.

CDC Launches Website on Infant and Toddler Nutrition

Good nutrition during the first 2 years of life is vital for healthy growth and development. Children grow and develop every day. As they grow older, their nutrition needs change. Children with healthier eating patterns in their first year of life are more likely to have a healthier eating pattern later on. Yet too many children are not eating a healthy diet.

Among U.S. children between 1 to 2 years of age:

  • 15% are iron deficient,
  • Fewer than half ate a vegetable on a given day, and
  • More than 3 out of 10 children drank a sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day.

Credible information about infant and toddler nutrition is important for parents and caregivers. CDC is providing parents of young children with this nutrition information to help infants and toddlers get a healthy start in life.

CDC is releasing a website that brings together existing information and practical strategies on developing healthy eating patterns for infants and toddlers, from birth to 24 months of age.

Topics include:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Formula feeding
  • Essential vitamins & minerals
  • Introduction of solid foods
  • Foods and drinks to encourage
  • Tips on mealtime routines, …and more!

Family Mealtime Tips

 

Family dinners are a time to strengthen family ties and keep track of what is happening in your child’s life.  They can also lead to better physical and mental health for children.  According to a Harvard study, families that eat dinner together most days were associated with healthier eating.  Additionally, children who often eat with their family tend to do better in school.  Cooking and serving meals at home allows more control over the quality and quantity of your family’s food choices.  Kids tend to mimic their parents attitudes about food; therefore, when you show your children that healthy eating is important they will follow your lead.

Your CHILL counselors, the mental health professionals based in each Winter Park Consortium School (Winter Park High and the elementary and middle feeder schools) have given a few tips for making the most of family meal times.

  1. Encourage your kids to help make the food.  Keep it easy and simple, yet nutritious.
  2. Have your children set the table and help clean the dishes.
  3. Family meals should be a time for conversations, swapping ideas, feelings and learning about your children’s day.
  4. Have each person in the family share one experience about his or her day or one thing that they liked about his or her day.
  5. Turn off the TV, radio or other electronics and enjoy family time.
  6. Encourage everyone to eat slowly.  You will enjoy each other longer and you will be able to easily tell if you are full so you don’t over eat.
  7. Meal time provides a great opportunity to reinforce family ties and pass on family traditions.
  8. Make dinner time about enjoying each other and learning about each other, not about discipline or discussing problems with school or work.  Keep the tone of the conversation light and save the big stuff for family meetings or individual talks.