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May 30, 2011

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Loretta

It is so hard sometimes to give kids snacks that are good for them. My kids I have to admit will go for fruits and vegetables. They do like there sweets too. For the most part when I buy nothing but fruits and vegetables that is what they snack on. Some times they will snack on cereal without the milk. My kids are both thin and I am fortunate that they are not on the chubby side. They do stay active during the day. Now that summer is coming they are outside alot more and running around more too. I hope they don't grow out of eating good food.

Rachel


Your paragraph heading is disturbing to me..."even" the Nanny... I would like to see your heading include: Mom and Dad, Nanny and Grandparents, for example: "Food Education for All--Mom, Dad, Nanny and Grandparents". Yes, we "all" need to be educated. Thank you.

Rachel

Brenda Adams

I try to only stock healthy items in the house so the kids can grab snake when they are hungry. We always have fruit and granola bars. No chips. No soda. Nothing fried. They have candy on holidays. We always buy whole wheat bread or pasta. The kids sometimes complain but they are starting to notice the benefits. They stoped liking mc Donalds because they noticed the way it made them feel.

Harrison Family

I decided about 2 years ago to get rid of ALL processed foods, snacks included. No more chips, snack cakes, cookies etc. I bake everything at home from scratch and the ingredients I use are much healthier than the things I was conditioned to using. Of course my kids snack, on what you say FRUIT!! We eat tons and tons of FRESH FRUIT. Some of the fruit I keep on hand are bananas (they are my 1yr olds fav) cantelope, watermelon, honey dew melon, & pineapple (I keep cut up in tupper ware bowls in the fridge) grapes, oranges, apples, plums, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, & celery just to name a few. My children LOVE it and for my 1yro its all he knows. That's not all we have for them to snack on either. Nuts, raisons...in comparison a pack of cookies or snack cakes will be cheaper than a bag of grapes but we HAVE to make better/smarter choices for our children. We also have a home garden where we grow most of our own veggies. Its time to take back our kitchens and our overall health.

BJ Riordan

We love to take our 3 energetic kids on trips the Farmer's Market and they each get their own bag and can help pick out items. It's fun, healthy, and educational. They also get free snack samples from most vendors. I'm glad most of our grocery stores have organic sections/selections now too. Now that we homeschool, it's easier to teach them and help them make healthier choices and do more outdoor activities like hiking and exploring.

Angela C. Pierce

Isn't life really about balance? I, too, have come home not only to a sitter but my husband having purchased Happy Meals for my daughters. I take the approach that this is not about a battle but an issue of education. My 3 year old daughter can identify and differentiate between what is considered "junk food" and what is "healthy food." She knows that a little bit of junk food is OK but too much will make her feel tired and give her a belly ache. We cannot shelter our children entirely but teaching them the skills to make the right choices for themselves will make a difference in their lifetimes.
In restaurants, my children learn to eat as we do everyday at home. Balanced and healthy. My children make their own choices: broccoli with their fish or mashed potatoes? Apple slices or cantalope? That doesn't mean our family doesn't enjoy sharing a nice big ice cream sundae now and then!

Emma

It's not really that complicated - just more work. My kids took snacks of mini-carrots, grapes, and cheese today. I try to keep the rules straightforward and understandable. Your body uses what you eat to grow strong and healthy so choose wisely. No trans-fats (completely artificial and demonstrated as harmful to arteries). No high-fructose corn syrup (corn marketing board be damned). Keep unpronounceable ingredients to a minimum, and read the labels really carefully. Food companies exist to make a profit (even the organic ones, and even the ones that use Clifford the Big Red Dog on their cereal boxes), not to look out for your health.
That said, you don't have to go overboard. All things in moderation (except for trans fats- ha ha!!). We have cookies and potato chips, pizza, and Burger King - just not as daily staples. I use an electric grill (a la George Foreman) to whip up a chicken breast. Add mashed potatoes and steamed green beans, and you have my son's favorite meal. Kids are creatures of habit - so give them the right habits.

Remember that you (or your designated representatives) buy the food, not the kids. I really try to avoid taking them to the grocery store when possible - it makes a huge difference.

Save your anger and indignation for the agro-industrial complex and the government subsidies/support that puts corporate profits ahead of public health. Why is it cheaper to buy a bucket of take-out chicken wings fried in goodness knows what than a pound or two of real chicken??

Oooh - one last rant before I sign off. Did you know that a product can claim "0g trans fats" per serving even if it contains up to half a gram??. If you take a typical snack food with a grossly underestimated serving size, consuming four servings would give you perhaps 2g of the nasty stuff - when you thought it was "healthy". Look at the ingredients list. Anything "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" has been made in a chemical plant, and contains trans fats. Don't do it!!!!! Save the Planet!!!!! or at least your kids from heart disease....

Thank you for reading this far.

Steven Little

One cannot be a "gatekeeper" to a childs health and nutritional needs unless first they maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle themselves. What's in your pantry? This is not extremism I'm talking about but being well balanced and everything in moderation. So, what's in your pantry? Teaching children and directing them to do anything should always be lead by example. It will be so anyway like it or not....kids are very observant and keen to what mommy and daddy do.

Jasmin

We try to do everything in moderation. I buy my son some unhealthy snacks from time-to-time, but trust me, when I NEVER bought them... he got them. Friends have junk in their house, grandma does. They will find it. So... yes I succumb to the unhealthy "treats" from time-to-time, but I think I am teaching my son to not only make healthy food choices MOST of the time, but that it's OK if you don't once in awhile.

Dorri Neville

My daughter loves Ritz crackers w/ cream cheese and jelly. If not just cream cheese. She loves to also snack on baby carrots, apple slices, and bananas.

Marie

In this age of fast food and convenience we might do well to remind ourselves that motherhood is far from convenient (by the way, I don't find food preparation easy or convenient, either!)

I am a fitness expert and help busy moms lose fat and I am also the mother of a 2 1/2 year old daughter, so I get how hard it is to feed your children healthy foods. It's nearly impossible to have a no sugar, white flour, etc, kind of diet when someone else is caring for your child, or even if you spend time at the grandparents house where cookies, cakes and high sugar yogurt abound. I do believe, however, that for all of the times you, the parent, are prepping meals and snacks that these foods should be natural and wholesome and not from a bag or box.

An apple with some slivered almonds make a great afternoon snack. Try a hard cooked egg with some sliced red pepper. How about melon with some pumpkin seeds? Carrots with cashew butter? These snacks are full of vitamins and minerals that help our child’s body grow and run on all cylinders. I think they taste good, too! A bag of cheez-its or Annie's Bunnies are not snacks, they are treats. A little something extra and fun to eat and can certainly fit into anyone's lifestyle, but shouldn't be considered a healthy afternoon, in between meal, snack.

Parents should get used to the idea that food planning and preparation takes time. It can be overwhelming, but if parents start small, even changing one snack a day, or week, it's a step in the right direction.

So getting to the question you asked, "How do you decide what to feed your family?” I feed my family whole foods like meat/fish/seafood, vegetables and fruits for the most part. My daughter does get some junk food but I limit it.

I hope this comment helps educate busy moms out there, that with a little bit of practice, they can indeed give their children healthy, wholesome snacks that the kids will love!

Lisa

Some of our favorite snacks are yogurt (no HFCS or food coloring), sliced up cheese and apples, smoothies, nuts, and banana with almond butter and honey on top.
My kids don't even like the taste of McDonald's anymore. They just want the toy. We do lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We only get peanut butter without trans fats and I found a great soft whole wheat bread with 6 grams of fiber per slice. I also try to limit juice intake to only one cup a day since juice really isn't very good for you. As far as nannies go, I find that they tend to feed the kids what is in the house.
My favorite thing of all is to teach my kids why the foods are good for them. I taught my 3 year old daughter that carrots help you see in the dark (cuz in country where they don't get enough vit. A they have a lot of night blindness where they can't even see anything in the dark). Because she knew this, she would often insist that she didn't need to have the bathroom light turned on, because she ate her carrots!

Jack Kirchartz

It is an neverending battle with my kids. I win a battle, but not sure about the war

maryanne newell

In retrospect, we got lucky. Our infant daughter had digestion and health problems that a conventional medical approach did not have an answer for or even a diagnosis. It was a long and often lonely road but today we have an absurdly healthy 3rd grader who has not been sick since she was 3 outside of a few coughs and runny noses. We saved ourselves endless hours navigating an increasingly complex and unaffordable healthcare system looking for doctors, appointments and answers. Our MD visits are limited to well care and annual check ins to get school and camp forms.

Our solution? Basically unprocessed foods, minimal sugar and wheat products. Very simple concept but difficult to implement. The good news is that because of Jamie Oliver and the many others who have raised awareness around food issues, feeding your child well is much more accepted.

Collateral benefits include other family members that are no longer diabetic and saddled with gout.

It's been a fascinating ride and I've learned a lot along the way about how to best steward our family's health. Like I said, it's worth the effort especially given the alternative our quality of health.

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