Getting Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies

The media is always reminding parents about the prevalence of obesity in young children.

Not only is daily activity and exercise a necessary component, but so is eating healthy.

One of the most important food groups is vegetables, which provide kids with much-needed nutrients and antioxidants.

It also happens to be the least favorite food group among kids.

Yet just because  veggies don’t live up to the taste of chocolate doesn’t mean there is no hope.

In fact, with a little determination, kids can learn to love the taste of veggies.

The sooner vegetables are worked into kids’ palates, the more likely they will be to try and like them.

In fact, studies show that pregnant women who eat veggies are more likely to have infants that like them.

If nursing a young infant, it’s also worthwhile to incorporate vegetables into the diet, as the baby will learn to enjoy the tastes that are passed through the milk.

Once solids are incorporated into a baby’s diet, he or she will be more apt to enjoying the taste of veggies .

For an added benefit, puree vegetables and stick to seasonal varieties that are freshest.

This limits salt and sugar additives, as well as encourages young children to enjoy the natural tastes of veggies.

Once children reach the age of four, they become more resistant to trying new foods, so use the first few years as an opportunity to offer a wide palate of vegetables.

Children ages 2 to 6 should have at least three servings of vegetables each day.

An example of a serving is a ½ cup chopped vegetables, a medium potato or ¾ cup of vegetable juice.

To meet these needs, serve a cup of juice with breakfast, ½ cup peas and carrots with lunch and sweet potato wedges at dinner.

When part of a normal routine, children won’t balk at the sight of vegetables.

There is more to eating vegetables than just offering them, however.

Some children are naturally resistant to trying new and unfamiliar foods.

Try serving the vegetables in creative ways that are enticing to kids.

One idea is ants on a log, which is made by placing cream cheese on celery sticks and lining them with raisins.

Also let kids take part in cooking by offering recipes where they get to make their own tacos or veggie pizzas.

No matter how much children resist, continue to offer vegetables.

Make sure to serve the same meals to the whole family, and set a good example by also eating a wide variety of vegetables.

Children learn best by example.

When children do work up the courage to try new foods, don’t make a big deal.

Show them that vegetables are a standard part of any diet and don’t require a reward for eating.

If these solutions don’t work, some sneaky preparation may be in order.

Grate carrot skins into spaghetti sauce, make veggie smoothies or add spinach to macaroni and cheese.

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I know! You wish that your kids ate anything and everything you put in front of them.

However, it seems that way too often your child just won’t eat the healthy stuff.

Especially fruits and veggies.

Fruit and veggies

Even though there is no exact recipe to success to follow,

I believe that there are many different methods you can use to get your little one to develop a healthy diet.

First we need to address WHAT they need to be eating.

Whether its Fresh, Frozen, or Canned I say eat them all!

However, you do want to be aware of the following.

With the frozen and canned fruits you do need to watch out for added sugars.

Be sure that your label says 100% juice.

With frozen veggies you need to watch out for butter and cream sauces that have been added.

With canned and frozen veggies watch out for added salt.

If you look closely you will be able to find the label no sodium added. Ok.

We all know that we should be eating fruits and vegetables, but WHY?

It’s because these foods are full of vitamins and minerals.

This helps give us energy and fight disease like heart disease and some cancers.

Fruits and Veggies are also packed with Fiber, which keeps you feeling full so you don’t always heave to hear “I’m hungry!!'”

Plus it keeps your child’s digestive system regular, because who wants to deal with a child who can’t poop! Now,

HOW MUCH should I be feeding my child you ask?

A rule to always follow according to the MyPlate guideline is to make half your plate vegetables and fruit.

The exact amounts for your child depends on their age. And you can find the right amount here.

If eating fruits and veggies isn’t a part of your child’s daily diet, this may seem overwhelming.

WHEN do I incorporate all of those foods into their day?

Keep it simple and incorporate a little in every meal, including snacks.

You may be asking yourself, “How? How do I do this?”

The important thing is NOT to get your children to eat fruits and vegetables it’s to get them to eventually like fruits and vegetables.

In order for this to happen you need to start early.

Taste buds are being developed at an early age.

Sometimes it takes up to 10 times for a child to like something.

Always enforce the 1-bite rule.

This means that the child must try at least 1 bite, even if they don’t take another bite of that food the rest of the meal.

Now, if YOU aren’t eating fruits and vegetables, the chance of your child eating them is near improbable.

Your taste buds can change too. We adults can even be more stubborn than our children at times.

So please set the example and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Fruits and vegetables take on different flavors depending on what they are cooked with and how they are prepared.

For some ideas on preparation click this link right here.

Whether you are cooking with meats, dairy, grains, or fruits and vegetables;

Flavor is king.

Get creative with the spices and condiments.

For example, put cinnamon on a sweet potato;

Parmesan cheese on roasted broccoli;

lemon juice with spinach;

cauliflower with nutmeg;

apples and bananas with peanut butter…

Ok! I’m getting hungry. Hiding fruits and veggies is also a great tool to have in your apron.

If you child absolutely refuses any and every fruit and vegetable you put into their meal plan try hiding the unwanted foods.

Jessica Seinfeld has a great recipe book on how to hide fruits and vegetables in dishes like muffins, cakes, and even childhood favorites like mac and cheese.

Use kale, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers in pizza and pasta sauces.

You can also create healthy, and tasty, smoothies with pretty much any fruit and vegetable.

And Muffins!!! What child doesn’t like muffins?

And please, Don’t be deceived by what the food industry tries to tell you.

Eating healthy does not mean it’s more expensive. Research has found that an adult on a 2000 calorie diet, could follow the fruit and vegetable guidelines of 4 1/2 cups at a cost of $2 – $on average per day.

And that much is way more nutritious and filling than a burger and fries you can get at a nearby fast-food joint.

According to research, on average, veggies and fruit items were $.31 per portion and unhealthy snacks were $.33 per portion.

And check out this cost-comparison chart. You can spend $1 on a 4 ounce bag of chips and get nothing but calories from fat and salt.

Or spend the same amount of money on 1 and 1/4 pound of carrots filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

Or eat two small cookies, and still be hungry.

Or eat 3 small apples and be filled with great nutrition.

The next time your child gives you the gag look when you place veggies and fruits down in front of them don’t loose hope.

Try these tips and see if your children not only start liking veggies and fruits but they start asking for them.

Oh! And don’t faint when that happens.

As found on Youtube

Helping Your Kids Lose Weight

If you want to help your teenage kids to lose weight, here are some tips that may prove helpful:

1. Make losing weight a family affair. Rather than just concentrating on your teen, try to adopt healthy habits as a family.

Eating healthier foods at home and getting more exercise is good for the whole family.

Try to encourage family members to eat more fruitsveggies and whole grains.

Prepare menus that contain healthy food groups to ensure that your family is getting all the nutrients that they need.

Practice leaving junk food when you do your shopping at the grocery store.

Healthy foods may sometimes cost you more, but it’ is worth investing in as it concerns the health of your whole family.

2. Allow occasional treats as a break from the usual.

That late-night pizza with friends or nachos at the mall doesn’t need to be totally excluded from your teen’s healthy-eating plan.

Suggest a healthier alternative instead such as breadstick and marinara sauce instead of garlic bread dripping in butter and cheese.

You can also opt for ordering a shared snack instead of a full-size order to lessen the portions.

You can let your teen know that he or she can also have control over his or her eating choices and an occasional indulgence is acceptable.

A trend towards developing healthier habits is what really matters rather than banishing your kid’s favorite food totally.

3. Plan fun and highly active family outings, such as regular walks at the park or weekend visits to a local recreation center.

Such activities can greatly help keep your kids stay active. And not only that, such activities can also be a great way for the whole family to bond and enjoy each one’s company.

4. Be positive. With your kids being overweight, their feelings should also be put into consideration.

How they feel about themselves can affect their motivation to lose weight.

As a parent, you can actually influence how your kids will feel about themselves.

You must help them realize that being overweight doesn’t inevitably lead to a lifetime of having low self-esteem.

Your acceptance of their condition is critical. Try to listen to your teen’s concerns.

Provide positive comment on his or her efforts, skills and accomplishments.

You must always make it clear that your love and concern is unconditional and that it is not dependent on weight loss.

This will make them more secure as well as confident in trying to motivate himself or herself from losing weight. You can help your teen learn healthy ways of being more open in express his or her feelings.

5. Eat breakfast. This is usually a thing that is lightly taken in many families.

But breakfast can really help your teen from keeping off those extra pounds.

It may take some constant urging for your teen to get up early for breakfast, but always bear in mind that it is important.

A well-balanced nutritious breakfast at the start of the day will jump-start your teen’s metabolism.

This meal will be able to give him or her energy to face the day ahead. Even better, feeling full each morning before going out of the house may keep your teen from eating too much during the rest of the day.

These are just a few of the many things that you can do to help your teen from getting rid of excess pounds and keeping it off.

It may take a bit of work on your part. But the rewards can be seen in knowing that your kids are learning to live a healthier lifestyle and grow and develop into healthy adults.


Could children from the UK learn from Japan to reduce obesity


British kids are the most overweight in Western Europe, but in Japan, childhood obesity is rare.

Dr C says in the current issue of Closer that we can learn a lesson on keeping our children healthy.

British kids are the most overweight in Western Europe, but in Japan, childhood obesity is rare.

Dr C says we can learn a lesson from them.

Obesity rates here have doubled in 20 years, while in Japan only four percent of people are overweight.

So, what can we learn from them?

Japanese school lunches are planned by nutritionists, made from scratch, and include lots of rice, vegetables, soup, and fish.

Everyone gets identical meals, and if they don’t like it, it’s tough luck!

That’s a nanny state for you, but it can be a good thing.

Schools have no vending machines and children can’t take in their own food until high school.

In the US, obesity hits at age four, but in Japan, rates are very low until kids reach 15 – just as they start choosing their own food.

It sounds harsh, but we didn’t have any choice at my school either, so we just got on with it.

Japanese boards of education also tend to make walking to school compulsory if their school is close enough.


That isn’t always possible over here, but it’s a clever system if you can do it, because it’s automatic daily activity.

When they brought in the smoking ban here, people complained it was an

infringement on their freedom, but now we’ve all adapted.

I suspect it would be the same with these types of policies.

They’d soon feel normal.

It’s not just kids, either.

Japanese businesses get fined if their staff are obese.

I don’t think that’s right, but it does mean that everyone is encouraged to take an interest in health.

Here, we’re overweight, but ignoring it.

Japanese life expectancy is the best in the world, yet they work hard and have high levels of stress, which shows the impact a proper diet has, with lots of fresh fish and vegetables.

Family dinners are another part of Japanese culture.

Everyone sits around the table and children are encouraged to try everything, but not finish if they’re full.

That means kids take their time and don’t eat while distracted.


There’s a Japanese saying, which goes,

“He who has his stomach full 80 per cent will not need a doctor.”

An easier way to think of it is to eat until you’re no longer hungry, rather than until you’re full.


It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re full, but we keep eating, then feel stuffed.

The lessons?

Healthy lunches, daily activity, no room for fussiness and taking it slow all help to keep you slim.

Try it!

Reference: Closer Magazine 20 – 26 Jan 2018

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Childhood obesity and nutrition

According to obesity researchers, the United States obesity rate has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents-and more than tripled for ages 6 to 11-over the past 30 years.

Obese children are at greater risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, and often carry these problems into adulthood.

So, how do parents help children, and the entire family, eat healthier, both at home and away-from-home?

“Talk to your pediatrician, family doctor or registered dietitian to determine the healthiest weight goals for the entire family,” said nutrition expert Jenifer Bland-Campbell, “then make a plan to tackle the issue.”

She offers these tips to help parents help their families eat more healthfully:

  • Eat at least one meal together daily, at regular intervals to discourage snacking.
  • Prepare healthy dishes for the whole family, not just special foods for an overweight child.
  • Don’t use food as a reward, comfort or punishment.
  • Watch portions. “Clean your plate” is not always the way to go.
  • Eat slowly. It takes almost 20 minutes for the brain to register that the body is full.
  • Encourage water or skim or 1% milk instead of high-calorie, sugary drinks.
  • Getting kids to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day will not be easy, but focus on the colors to make it more fun. for more tips. 5 a day
  • Use low-fat or fat-free dressings, mayonnaise and dairy items at home as if they are the full-fat versions. Kids will take your cues. Ask for the same items on the side when eating away-from-home.
  • Take the stairs. When you go shopping, park the car farther away from the store and walk.
  • Limit television, video games or computer time.
  • Replace mayonnaise and cheese on burgers or sandwiches with ketchup, mustard or barbecue sauce.
  • Stick with items that are baked, broiled, steamed or poached-not fried.
  • Ask for nutritional information when eating out.
  • Look beyond the children’s menu, often limited to fried, high-calorie, high-fat foods and split one healthier adult entrée between two children.
  • Ask for a takeout container and put some of the food in before you eat.
  •  Ask that bread, beverages and tortilla chips be served with the meal, not beforehand.

“Parents can help children reach wellness goals by first making healthy changes at home, then teaching kids what to do away from home,” said Bland-Campbell.

“Healthy eating does not happen overnight, but children take cues from their parents and will learn behaviors over time.”

Nutrition:`Obesity being a Health risk target

Bland-Campbell is a registered dietitian with ARAMARK, a company that manages food service programs at businesses, colleges, hospitals, and approximately 4,000 schools across the country.

You can find research on the away-from-home nutritional preferences of Americans at ARAMARK’S web site.

There, parents can find their own dining style and receive tips from dietitians on more ways to eat better.


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We speak to Bethany Walton, who weighed 6 stone at 5 years old and currently weighs 27.5 stone.

Bethany says that her mum should of controlled her eating habits when she was younger.

But how much is too much when it comes to children’s meals?

Dr Sara Kayat will be showing us and will advise on what to do if you think your child is overweight.


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