It’s Kids’ Eat Right Month

By Gallatin County WIC

Kids’ Eat Right Month is happening right now!

Join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in helping your child eat healthy this summer and into the new school year by celebrating “Kids Eat Right” Month.  As a busy parent it can be hard to find the time every day to think about eating healthy, even for ourselves, however it only takes a little time every week to find ways to increase the fruit and vegetable intake for your child or children.

Consider these ways to jazz up fruits and veggies to increase the health of your family:

  1. Make it simple! Healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Fruits and vegetables are the original fast food and don’t have to be a lot of work. Think apples, bananas, snap peas, carrots, and sliced cucumbers. These require very minimal preparation, and in some cases only need to be rinsed off.
  2. Pair it up! Consider pairing a protein with a fruit or vegetable high in vitamin C. Red peppers and hummus make a great snack plus the Vitamin C in the red pepper will increase the amount of iron absorbed in your body from hummus.
  3. Serve 2 veggies at meal times! One that you know the kids will eat and one that they may have not seen before. It is really important to introduce new foods to kids with familiar foods so they can enjoy a wide range.
  4. Let kids help in the kitchen! Considering the child’s age and abilities, he/she can often help tear lettuce, dice soft foods with a butter knife, stir sauces, and add foods into a salad or side dish.
  5. Eat by candle light! Kids may be more likely to try new things if they can’t see them! This usually works well with older children rather than toddlers or preschool aged kids.
  6. Keep trying! Offer veggies even when your children doesn’t eat them. But if they never eat them, consider sneaking pureed veggies into baked good, mac and cheese, and smoothies.
  7. Make it cheesy! Use a light sprinkle of cheese on veggies to make them more appealing.
  8. Butter it up! Fats like butter and olive oil really do make veggies taste better, and as long as the vegetable is not drowning in the butter it is not unhealthy to have some fat in the diet.
  9. Let them pick! Let kids pick out a vegetable every time you take them to the grocery store. When you are at home prepping the vegetable have them help and watch you get it ready for eating. While eating you can say, “Remember when you picked this vegetable out at the grocery store or farmers market?”

Spending just a few minutes here and there during the week can greatly increase the healthy eating habits of your family. Most importantly, don’t stress when your children don’t always choose to eat their fruits and vegetables, but find ways to make eating fun and exciting in your home!

Check out these websites for additional tips and ideas for ways to feed your family: http://www.eatright.org/kidseatrightmonth/, and http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/

For more information about Gallatin County WIC, go here.