Archive: healthy childhood eating

Help Kids PLAY Their Way to a Healthier Lifestyle

When kids think eating right, they cringe at brussel sprouts and broccoli, but the Eat to Win game makes learning about a healthy lifestyle fun. Not only does the engaging game help parents and childcare centers teach about the major food groups, but it also stresses the importance of staying active. This gives children the right tools to lead a healthy life for years to come.
 

 

 

Teaching little ones the importance of eating right and exercising regularly is more important than ever before. Childhood obesity has doubled in the last 30 years, affecting over one third of children in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Eat to Win makes teaching these life lessons fun!
 

 

 

Eat to Win was created by a concerned mom whose own child struggled with weight issues. The games were made to encourage nutrition and exercise for kids of all ages.
 

 

 

They’re also a ton of fun! Daycare director Chris Bicknell was shocked to find how the games captured her children’s attention. “I was able to keep 18 children all under the age of four’s attention while using the Eat to Win Flashcards,” said Bicknell. “Our center absolutely LOVES these products!”
 

 

 

At Mom Trusted, we want to get behind the health train so we’re offering our care and education providers a special deal:

 

Order now and save 20% on your Eat to Win games!

 

Just enter the discount code before you checkout.

 

Code: MomTrusted

5 Finger Foods for Picky Eaters

 

Little ones can make meal times tough. Many children hit a phase where they refuse to eat what we put in front of them unless it’s a certain color, is one of two food items or contains 75% sugar. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason for these dietary decisions, but as parents, we know that they simply can’t continue. Growing kiddos need the right nutrients in order to stay healthy and strong. Check out these ideas for healthy finger foods that your picky eater will love:


Sweet potato chips

Cut a sweet potato or two into thin slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and a tiny bit of salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Health benefits: Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, C and D, meaning they play a role in healthy teeth, bones, skin and a healthy immune system.


Frozen blueberries

Frozen blueberries are a fruity, tasty treat. Simply stick a bunch of them in the freezer or pick up some already frozen ones from the grocery store. Give them to your little one as a snack or first thing in the morning. To them, it’s like having ice cream for breakfast!

Heath benefits: Blueberries boost memory, key for those just starting out in their academic careers. They’re also high in fiber.


String cheese

String cheese is a fast, easy option that’s especially great for those who don’t get enough milk. Bonus: string cheese is easy to pack and an excellent grab-and-go food. Pick up skim versions if you’re worried about high fat content.

Health benefits: Cheese is a source of dairy for healthy bones, nails and teeth.


Hardboiled eggs

Hardboiled eggs are quick to make. Plus, they’re really inexpensive. Their unique texture may be enough to intrigue picky eaters, enticing them to eat this fun finger food.

Health benefits: Eggs are high in protein, B12 and iron, which is especially beneficial because the American Academy of Pediatrics says that 15% of children under three years old don’t get enough iron.


Grain-dusted strawberries

Chop up a few cups of strawberries and dust them with ground Cheereos. You can also do this with peaches, bananas, avocadoes or even tofu.

Health benefits: This tasty snack combines the health benefits of fruit and whole grain, incorporating nutrients like fiber, Vitamin C and potassium.


Sources:

-Martha Steward

-“9 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.” Care 2 make a difference.

-Galland, Leo. “Surprising Benefits of Blueberries.” Huffington Post.

-Jacobsen, Maryann. “10 of the Best Finger Foods for Toddlers.” Raise Healthy Eaters.

-Giorgio, Katie. “Finger Foods for Toddlers.” Baby Zone

-Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

7 of the Healthiest Foods to Feed Your Baby

 

Around four to six months, babies begin to develop the coordination to swallow foods. When moving from milk to solids, start slow with mushy foods. And remember that you can blend just about anything into an easy-to-swallow puree. Here are some healthy options for baby solids:

 

Baby cereal

Mix baby cereal with breast milk for an easy transition. This will start to get your child used to a thicker consistency, while still keeping things familiar. Plus, the extra grains are a great source of iron.

 

Avocados

The unsaturated fats in avocados are similar to those in breast milk so avocados make for another great transition food. Plus, they make great snacks on the go! They travel well because they can stay at room temperature.

 

Squash

High in vitamins A and C, cooked squash is simple to prepare and a baby favorite. It’s gooey texture is easy to eat and tough to choke on. Squash’s vitamin C will build a healthy immune system, help heal wounds and build scar tissue. The vitamin A will help with vision and maintain healthy skin, hair and teeth.

 

Apples

Apples are a tasty treat that little ones love. Just like squash, they’re high in vitamin C. Just peel the skin and chop the apples into tiny pieces to prevent choking.

 

Beans

Try feeding your child kidney or pinto beans. By about eight months old, you baby should be old enough to eat beans and they’re easy to prepare- just serve them right out of the can. Beans are a great source of protein and antioxidants.

 

Broccoli

Just because you didn’t like broccoli as a kid, doesn’t mean your baby won’t. Broccoli tends to get a bad rep taste-wise, but you baby doesn’t know that. Not only is it filled with calcium and fiber, but chilled broccoli can provide some relief for teething little ones.

 

Bananas

Gooey and easy to gum, bananas are a great choice for those just starting out on solid foods. You don’t even need teeth to eat them. Plus, bananas are a great source of potassium, key for healthy muscles. They could even help sooth the ache of growing muscles.

 

 

Sources:

-“The ten best foods for babies.” Baby Center

-“Vitamin C” and “Vitamin A” Medline Plus 

-Baby Food 101

-US Dry Bean Council

-WH Foods

-“Solid Foods.” Mayo Clinic.

-Photo courtesy of federico stevanin/freedigitalphotos.net

Time for a healthy breakfast

Nutrition is a key ingredient in a child’s development. Nutrition plays an important role in long-term development but also in the day-to-day learning activity of young children. As a 2007 study pointed out the effects of nutrition are not limited to under nourished children, which clearly must be addressed, but also extends to children that many would consider well fed. They found statistically significant cognitive gains among all children who were given a vitamin and mineral supplement.

Recognizing the fundamental role of nutrition plays in the educational setting the U.S. Department of Agriculture just released a new proposal this week that changes the requirements for subsidized school lunches. The proposal was combined with new legislation extending the requirements to all school based lunches not just subsidized programs to improve nutritional standards for all school children and hopefully improve learning and development.

The proposal, though still in the early stages, changes the current standards to include more fresh fruits and vegetables and limits the amount of transfats and non whole grains served. While not blockbuster and likely still a couple of years from taking effect, the change highlights the importance of nutrition for a child’s learning and development.

As parents this is hopefully not news. It should be, however, a reminder that we (as parents) contribute to our children’s education and development in many important ways. Understanding all of the ways we can set our children up for success is the first step, making it a habit is the second and most important step. Most of us recognize the importance of healthy eating, but we also know how hectic the day can become when juggling work, kids, and any thing else life sends our way.

Morning times are probably the most challenging for most parents but most important for our children’s nutrition. The chaos that is the morning time generally determines at least two meals – breakfast and lunch. A small amount of planning can go a long way toward improving the morning time routines. Here are a few suggestions that may help alleviate the morning time stress and get you and the kids out of the house with a healthy meal in hand and stomach.

-       Plan for the chaos when shopping: At the grocery store we all have grand plans and great meals in store, but those take time. Pick out items that are fast and nutritious for the morning. Ideally, they are items that are portable (ie a banana and whole grain peanut butter toast) having fast and healthy options available makes it much easier.

-       Bedtime stories & brown bags: Add to your bedtime routine. Reading to our kids is critically important so why not go for the one two combination and involve your kids in packing their lunch for the next day. It’s an opportunity to have fun and involve your children in their own healthy development.

-       Start early: Our children watch us from the very beginning. Create healthy habits from the very beginning, as they are much easier to reinforce and maintain than to create once they are older.

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