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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Training Children's Taste Buds

It is common today to hear parents say "My son is a picky eater" or "getting my kids to eat vegetables is so difficult." What most people don't realize is part of getting your kids to eat healthy is training their taste buds.  

Training their taste buds involves more than giving them exactly what they want every night for dinner. 

It is trying new foods, often times repeatedly along with their favorite foods. If all someone eats is sugary or processed foods that is what their taste buds will know and always crave.

It takes kids 5-6 times of seeing and tasting something new before kids will decide they like it. You can start making healthy choices by replacing foods with wholesome foods. Wholesome foods are all natural foods that your great grandparents ate. For example not twinkies and chips but applesauce, whole wheat bread and the types of food grown in a garden and on fruit trees.

Try introducing one new vegetable or fruit a day or once a week at least to your family. Allow kids to try a bite or two. We have a rule at our house that you are 3 so you need to take 3 bites. Usually when they are 8-9, they don't have to be told to take a certain amount of bites, they'll just do it. This doesn't have to be torturous but something fun. Have them rate the food on a rating scale or other way like thumbs up, thumbs down.

Even if your kids don't seem to be enjoying trying and tasting new foods. Don't give up. You can also include pureed vegetables in your cooking so they are getting the nutrition they need. However, also include vegetables on the side so they can get use to "seeing" their vegetables.

Little by little they will be training their taste buds to enjoy good healthy food. Try different recipes and combinations and get your kids in the kitchen helping. Kids can wash and scrub vegetables, peel and toss a salad together. Older kids that can use a knife properly can cut and prepare vegetables. Get kids involved, knowledgeable about good foods and enjoying meal time.

See more healthy eating tips.

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healthy Eating Series pt 4

 One of those new year's resolutions often is to eat healthier. Now that it is past January, are you still working on this? To be honest I try not to make this resolution instead, I try to make small changes. So in the next few weeks I'll talk about what healthy changes we try to implement at our house.

 Our final thought this month on eating healthy is about a key factor of living well, Exercise!

 Make Exercise Fun
There are those who love to exercise, make it a point to exercise regularly and those who are fanatics about exercise. Then there are those of us who don’t love to exercise, don’t find it fun nor enjoyable in the tiniest sense of the word. However, you can make exercise fun, enjoyable and something to look forward to; all you need to do is figure out what that is. Perhaps walking with a friend will make it seem less like exercise and more like social hour. Find a family activity that includes exercise. Or find a fun dance aerobics DVD that gets your body moving to rhythms you like. You can also find workout programs on YouTube or Amazon that will help to keep you motivated and excited about exercise. You may have to try a few different things, but don’t give up. Eventually you’ll find something that works for you, that you will stick with. And if you get tired of it, find something else. The important thing is to keep your body moving.
Make Eating Healthy Fun
Just as there are people in the world who only eat healthy foods, there are those of us in the world who are junk food junkies. But, just as you can make exercise fun, so can eating healthy be fun. When you’re craving sweets, choose fresh, colorful berries or fruit. When you’re craving crunchy, choose nuts or crunchy veggies.

Once you start making exercise and eating healthy more fun and enjoyable, the more energy and healthier you'll feel!

See the rest in our healthy eating series: 
Part 2- High Protein and High Fiber Foods
See our healthy meal tips. 
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Sneaky Chef Interview


I'm a big fan of sneaking healthy fruits and vegetables in our food. I'm thrilled with The Sneaky Chef cookbooks. When I manage to sneak spinach in my kids hamburgers it is as exciting as Christmas day waiting in anticipation to see what the outcome is. Then getting that thrill of Yea! They liked it!

Here is my latest interview with The Sneaky Chef, Missy Chase Lapine.

What is you or your kids all time favorite sneaky chef recipe?
Sneaky Chef Brainy Brownies, for sure. This recipe boosts the nutritional value of one of America's favorite treats enormously, and the effects are noticeable on the kid's moods and behavior.

The hidden spinach, blueberries and wheat germ supply long lasting nutrition that balances out the sugar and carbs, eliminating the spike-and-crash that so often happens when kids eat snack foods or desserts. What's more, my kids experience this difference for themselves and have loads of fun making the purees and mixing them into the brownies with me.


My son often asks before eating is there a secret ingredient in here? Do your kids help in your research?
My kids have been my inspiration from the start, and now they've evolved into my chief taste-testers. They also tell me which dishes are their current favorites and what to try to sneak into them. The biggest surprise has been that since they¹ve become completely aware of everything I'm doing, their aversion to trying new foods has all but vanished. They've decided if they like something when it's mixed into a recipe, then it can't be that bad by itself. I've gotten similar letters from mothers around the world!


Can you explain the process you go through when creating a new recipe?
First, I choose a recipe that I know kids already love. Then I decide on how much fat, sugar and calories I can cut out, and which sneaky vegetable puree(s), beans or whole grains I can sneak in, while still maintaining the original taste, color and texture.

Next, I employ visual and taste decoys to super-disguise the entire creation. And finally, I test, tweak and re-tweak each recipe about6-20 times until it's perfected. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen!


Your 1st book seemed to have started a controversy about whether you should sneak vegetables in kids foods.What are your thoughts on this?
I've never felt that this was much of a controversy, because sneaking actually  facilitates teaching kids about good nutrition: it is best used in addition to  everything else that parents are already doing to feed their kids healthy foods. The Sneaky Chef method makes kid-friendly foods much more nutritious while parents continue to serve veggies outright, lead by example, and teach their children.

The key difference, however, is that when parents see their kids actually enjoying fresh whole fruits, super nutritious veggies, beans,whole grains, wheat germ, spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc., it takes huge pressure off the situation as parents relax in the knowledge that their kids are finally getting some real nutrition into their systems. Kids feel the pressure lift and they can then learn in a relaxed environment.

Mealtimes return to pleasant discussions about the day's events, instead degrading into fights over which foods must be eaten. Kids are willing to try new foods again, there's much less waste and expense, and everyone is happier.

What is your favorite puree you use in your recipes?
This is almost like asking, which is your favorite child?! Each SneakyChef puree has its own wonderful flavors and benefits. The sweet potatoes and carrots in my Orange Puree add a delicate, balanced sweetness to pasta and pizza sauces, and makes them very smooth and less acidic.

Purple Puree has spinach and blueberries in it, which are both superfoods. It has such a fresh, bright flavor to it that people write to me that their kids are licking it  right off the mixing spoon. These are kids who have refused spinach every day of their lives previously! So, OK, these are my two favorite kids ; )


Thanks Missy for the interview!

The Sneaky Chef has several books that promote healthy eating and fitness. They are some of our favorite in our kitchen so do check them out! You can also visit her website, www.TheSneakyChef.com
  


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Healthy Eating Series part 3

One of those new year's resolutions often is to eat healthier. Now that it is past January, are you still working on this? To be honest I try not to make this resolution instead, I try to make small changes. So in the next few weeks I'll talk about what healthy changes we try to implement at our house.

Simple Things you can do to eat Healthy

Sometimes we get so lost and confused by all the weight loss tricks, fads, diets and exercise programs that we end up giving up and then watching that scale go up. Below are some simple things you can do to help stay healthy, that don’t require expensive workout equipment or monthly program fees.

Make “Grab n Go” Snack Packs

Cut up your favorite raw veggies, such as celery, carrots, broccoli and green peppers. Put them in sandwich baggies and store in the fridge so the next time you need a quick fix, they are handy and ready to grab n go. No more need to grab that bag of chips or those cookies. Great for kids busy after school and nights.

Spice it up!

Sprinkle some of your favorite spices on top of food for extra flavor instead of butter or sugar. Ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon or chili pepper add lots of flavor to food. Mix it up a bit for added flavor and variety.

Substitute the bad for the good

When you’re craving something sweet, go for fruits such as oranges, apples and berries. Each of these foods have additional fat burning benefits so they actually do more than just satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you’re craving crunchy or salty foods, choose nuts such as almonds or try celery with a little peanut butter.

It’s all about portion control

We’ve been so misguided into thinking we have to eat a ton of food in order to be satisfied, but the truth is, you only need to eat a little bit in order to feel full. If you’re used to eating huge amounts in one sitting, start cutting back slowly by eating ¾ of what you normally eat. When you’re body is used to that amount, try eating ½ of that amount and so on, until you’re only eating an actual serving size.

This is a great way to enjoy the foods you love, but in moderation and in control. Read the package labels for portion information. Then measure or count out the actual serving size and you’ll be amazed at how satisfied you feel.

See the rest in our healthy eating series: 
Part 2- High Protein and High Fiber Foods
Read more about kids portion sizes here.

See our healthy meal tips. 
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kids Cooking Lesson- Cooking eggs


I made a cooking lesson today on cooking eggs.

The kids learned how to boil eggs, fry eggs, poach eggs and scramble eggs. Then they had to decide which egg was their favorite.

We had 1 vote for boiled eggs and 3 votes for poached eggs.

My kids especially like microwave eggs. This was something they've already known how to do.

You crack an egg in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper add a splash of water. Poke the egg yolk and cook for 1 minute. Simple and a super easy kid recipe!



More recipes and egg ideas!
Egg in a bottle experiment
How to cook eggs
How to poach an egg
How to make an omelet
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Healthy Eating Series part 2

One of those new year's resolutions often is to eat healthier. Now that it is January, are you working on this? To be honest I try not to make this resolution, instead I try to make small changes. So in the next few weeks I'll talk about what healthy changes we try to implement at our house.

There are so many myths out there right now about which foods to eat to burn more fat and lose weight, it’s no wonder so many of us are confused. We don’t know whether to eat protein, fiber, or carbs anymore these days. To help reduce some of the confusion, here is a list of the top fat burning foods and how they work.

High Protein and High Fiber Foods

High protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, cheese and beans help burn fat because your body needs more energy to digest the proteins. If you combine high protein foods with high fiber foods, such as oatmeal, beans and whole grains, your body will ultimately burn off more fat.


Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Citrus foods like lemons, limes, oranges, guava, and grapefruit are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C dilutes the fat and helps your body release excess fat.


Apples
Do you have an “apple” shaped body? Apples contain pectin which is shown to restrict the cells from absorbing fat. Pectin also encourages water absorption from the food allowing the body to release excess fat.


Chilies
Chilies contain capsaicin, a thermogenic food. Thermogenic foods allow your body to burn excess calories for 20 minutes after you’ve eaten them.


Calcium Rich Foods
Calcium has been shown to be a natural fat burner because it aids in breaking down fat in fat cells. Diets that include calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt have been shown to produce better weight loss results than diets that don’t include these fat burning foods.


See the rest in our healthy eating series: 
Part 2- High Protein and High Fiber Foods
 
See our healthy meal tips.
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healthy Eating Series part 1

 One of those new year's resolutions often is to eat healthier. Now that it is January, are you working on this? To be honest I try not to make this resolution instead, I try to make small changes. So in the next few weeks I'll talk about what healthy changes we try to implement at our house.

Healthy Foods to add to your diet


Oatmeal

Eating a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal in the morning will help to fill you up and keep you feeling full longer. Plus its high fiber content will help to keep your digestive system working properly. If you prefer, add some fresh berries for sweetness.

Almonds
Snacking on almonds will help satisfy hunger and the need for crunchiness. 24 almonds is a good serving size that will fill you up and keep you from munching on sweets or potato chips.

Whey Protein
Protein powder isn’t just for body builders. Whey protein contains amino acids that help build muscle and burn body fat. Add 2 teaspoons to a fruit smoothie, low-fat milk, or yogurt for a belly fat burning treat!

Fresh Berries
Nothing is prettier than a bowl of fresh berries. But did you know that they also contain a ton of fiber which is very good for your digestive system? Next time you need a sweet snack, grab some blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and black berries.

Eggs
Eggs are protein packed little packages. Research shows that eating eggs every day for breakfast helps you lose more weight than cereal or bagels.

Beans and legumes

Beans, such as black, pinto and kidney, are packed full of protein and fiber. Instead of beef tacos for dinner, make bean burritos.

Tuna and Salmon
Our bodies break down proteins better than carbs, and tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids which helps us to burn off the fat. Instead of a tuna sandwich, make a tuna salad with mustard, onion, and pickles on a bed of lettuce.
See the rest in our healthy eating series:
Part 2- High Protein and High Fiber Foods

See our healthy meal tips.  

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~