Posted by Jennifer Lee on October 07, 2011 1 Comment
I love the holidays. My children are giddy with the sounds,
sights, and smells of the season. Like many parents, I enjoy spending time with
my kids and sharing treasured holiday traditions through cooking, baking and
eating! But a full calendar of holiday celebrations can quickly add up to a
less than healthy holiday menu. A few tips for how to keep the holidays healthy
and happy this year!
Pace yourself – Back to back parties can run parents and
kids ragged. Space out parties! Plan for a rest day in-between big events to
allow little bodies to recover.
Play each day – Schedule time each day to get out and play!
On mild days, ride bikes to the park. On rainy days, a game of hoops at the gym
can be a fun afternoon activity for the whole family. If time is working
against you, crank up the tunes and have a dance party. Just get moving!
Include a healthy option with each meal – Offer a couple of
healthy options at each holiday meal. Steamed veggies, like green beans or
broccoli, are beautiful on their own and make a colorful compliment to a
Lighten up – If you’re heading off to a big family dinner,
plan for lighter fare earlier in the day. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on yogurt
parfaits to infuse a little holiday flavor into your breakfast. Homemade, hearty
chicken noodle soup can make for a veggie packed, lighter lunch option.
H2O is the way to go – Put out a pitcher of water on your
kitchen table so kids can easily help themselves throughout the day. Remind
kids (and yourself) to fill ‘er up.
Posted by Jennifer Lee on September 01, 2011 2 Comments
I 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!
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.