NPR recently ran a great little report titled: Selling Kids On Veggies When Rules Like ‘Clean Your Plate’ Fail.
– Threats like “clean your plate” and “no second helpings of potatoes” don’t work on kids
– Why? When you demand children eat vegetables before they have a dessert, it makes it seem like there’s something wrong with eating vegetables
– Creative negotiation is a better option
– Tips include:
1. On a “Try It Tuesday”, parents, along with their children, pick out a new food to sample
2. Involve the kids in preparing meals
3. Try “no-thank-you bites” where the child just has to try one bite. If she doesn’t like it, she can say “no thank you” to more
We recently stumbled upon Healthy Dining Finder. It is a great tool to find healthy options when eating out or getting take out. Their team of registered dietitians and nutrition experts review restaurant menus to review and analyze calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium and other nutrients of restaurant dishes. How does it work? Simply enter your zip code and this website lists restaurants by number of healthy dishes, price and distance.
What Qualifies As Healthy Dishes?
Healthy Dinner Finder lists the menu items of restaurants in three categories:
1. Healthy Dining
- Entrées are less than 750 calories, 25 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat and include at least two of the following: Fruits and/or Vegetables, Lean Protein, Whole Grains and Lower-fat Dairy
- Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are less than 250 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat
- Deep fried items are excluded
2. Sodium Savvy
- Entrées are less than 750 mg of sodium
- Appetizers, Side Dishes and Desserts are less than 250 mg of sodium
3. Kids Live Well
- Full Kids’ Meals (entrée, side option and beverage) are less than 600 calories and include at least two of the following: Fruits and/or Vegetables, Lean Protein, Whole Grains and Lower-fat Dairy
- Side Items are less than 200 calories
- All items have less than 35% of calories from fat and less than 35% of calories from sugars
- Deep fried items are excluded
If you try it, let me know what you think.
With the New Year around the corner healthy eating is going to be on most of our New Year’s resolution lists. But how many of us will be successful at consistently eating healthy in 2013?
Eating healthy is challenging
Let’s face it, the process of getting healthy meals on our plates is not always easy. When we cook at home, we face two big issues:
1. Cooking is time-consuming
In order to cook at home we have to plan, buy groceries from one or more grocery stores, prep, and cook. This process takes time.
2. Cooking healthy is a complicated equation
USDA’s Food Plate recommends that we eat within a certain caloric range and ensure that our diet includes a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains and dairy. These recommendations by themselves can be very complicated to put into practice. However when you add other factors such as personal preferences (tastes, likes, dislikes), diets (Atkins, vegetarian, vegan) and other considerations (price, brand, local/organic, etc.), you end up with a highly complicated problem.
Unhealthy eating can cause serious problems
Families – especially with children – are constantly strapped for time. We simply don’t have a lot of time to plan and cook healthy meals. And even if we do, we end up getting overwhelmed with managing the complexity of eating healthy. As a result of this we don’t always make the best food decisions.
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