Can Every Day Be Thanksgiving?

Posted by Erin Nantell on November 18, 2011 3 Comments

Erin Pasero and familyThanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I think it’s the culmination of many of the things I enjoy—time with my family, great food, comforting rituals and friendly conversation.

But why should Thanksgiving be the only memorable meal of the year? There are many aspects of Thanksgiving that we can incorporate into everyday meals. Especially after a tumultuous day, the time spent at the dinner table should be a calming ritual where we can reconnect. But if your family is anything like our family was a year ago, meals were more mayhem than merry.

Slowly, we found little things that made meals with the family much more enjoyable (including the fantastic Crunch a Color™ game). Surprisingly, many of the things we’ve learned are things we do at Thanksgiving too, but I never made the connection until now.

Here are a few tips to bring the best of Thanksgiving to our family meals the other 364 days of the year:

  • Give your kids a job. Whether it’s washing the veggies, baking dessert, coloring place cards, or setting the table, make them feel included.   
  • Include seasonal side dishes in your meal plan. You’ll save 70% by eating what’s in season too. What’s not to love about that? 
  • Light a candle to signal the beginning of a meal and snuff it out when it’s over. Kids get squirmy at long meals, but by making it a ritual, with a defined beginning and end, you’ll help build impulse control. 
  • What are you grateful for? I am not sure why Thanksgiving was the only time of year that this was the topic of conversation at the dinner table.  They say feeling gratitude is a significant contributor to happiness. As parents, if we are positive and express gratitude, our child will pick up this attitude and habit. For more conversation ideas, try the free, printable Crunch a Color™ conversation starter cards.

What Thanksgiving traditions does your family cherish? Can you make them part of the everyday? Please share in the comments section below!

Mom of two reformed picky eaters, Erin Pasero credits Crunch a Color for making mealtime fun for her family. When she's not eating, she also blogs for HealthyHipMama.com.

Read More

Crunch a Color™ on CBS

Posted by Jennifer Lee on November 14, 2011 0 Comments

The Crunch a Color™ kids talking healthy eating with the morning crew at CBS' Good Day Sacramento! Watch how these picky eaters turned into healthy eating fans playing Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning nutrition game that makes healthy eating fun and gives back to fight obesity.

 

Read More

Healthy Halloween: Tricks not Treats!

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 29, 2011 2 Comments

Read More

Top tips for kid-friendly, healthy meals

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 01, 2011 0 Comments

Read More

Picky Picky: How to eat healthy with picky eaters

Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 01, 2011 2 Comments

how to eat healthy with picky eatersI know this kid. When she was a toddler she ate everything. Then she turned three and her expansive palette narrowed like a construction zone on El Camino. If you declare one more time, “You must eat your broccoli before you can have dessert!” you might explode. How do you get back on track? Here are my tips for how to eat healthy with picky eaters!

1. Keep it fun!

I yell, “Get your shoes on, we’re going to be late!” -- nothing happens. My husband exclaims, “Kids team against Daddy, race ya!” and my kids are ready before I can put my coffee cup in the dishwasher. A game is engaging and kids want to have fun. At the table, count colors, share jokes, play “kids team” against parents. Bonus points for good manners and trying new foods! Crunch a Color is a great tool for keeping it fun.

2. Let the kids choose.

Young children do not get to control much, but they can control what they eat. Set them up for success by serving up a balanced, colorful meal and then, in a fun and playful way, let them choose. Think protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. This little formula gives kids an easy to understand goal, then puts them in the driver’s seat. Be a role model by making healthy choices for your own plate as well.

3. Be flexible.

What works for one child might not for the other. Always be aiming for a colorful, balanced meal, but be flexible in how you get there. Think about nutrition over the course of a week as opposed to just one meal. Take what they already like and find new ways to prepare it. If they like roast chicken, try a chicken with veggies stir fry. Mostly, be patient, positive, and flexible

This article appears in the October 2011 issue of Jen's column, Healthy Eating, that is featured in the Burlingame Mothers' Club newsletter each month. The BMC is a local mothers group in the Bay Area with over 1,700 members in Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Mateo. Jen is an active member and former President of the club. 

Read More