Healthy Kids Food
Tips for improving your family's nutrition and introducing healthy kids food.
It has been said that if our generation don't seriously change our ways, our children will be diagnosed with chronic illnesses by the time they are our age, because of the deterioration in the foods we eat, chemicals in our water and the high levels of toxins in our environment.
I caught a wake up and decided to do at least one thing each month in 2010 to improve our nutrition and introduce healthy kids food to our diet.
If we can teach our kids good eating habits now, we'll save them suffering from a lifetime of bad health when they are older.
Books that have impressed upon me the need to change our ways are Perfect Health: The Natural Way by fellow South African, Mary-Ann Shearer and most recently, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
Mary-Ann also offers an email subscription programme called 100 Days to Better Health and it is especially beneficial for anyone who is overweight, suffering from allergies and illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious conditions.
Day by day, she will encourage you to change just one thing in your lifestyle, and in just a short time you will feel the difference.
Well, in 2010, I decided to start slowly too with the following steps:.
1. Drink pure water - I invested in a water distiller so that we are drinking pure water.
2. Eat more fruit - I decided to make sure we eat more fresh fruit by making smoothies for breakfast every day. Sometimes I even slip a raw spinach leaf into the smoothie to make a 'green smoothie'! What healthy kids food!
3. Reduce dairy consumption - I have wean my kids off dairy products, especially their cereal soaked in milk. Instead of giving us calcium as the milk marketers tell us, milk actually changes the pH of the body, causing calcium to be drawn from the bones and teeth to stabilize the pH of the blood again, thus weakening our teeth in particular. We now eat fruit only for breakfast and protein ( a handful of raw nuts) or starch, like oats porridge without milk, follows later in the morning.
4. Grow our own food - When I did't have much space for a veggie garden, each month I added a plant box to our patio to grow fresh herbs and even some veggies. We now have a veggie garden and the kids are very keen to eat what they have helped to grow, and being fresh, it is tastier and full of organic goodness.
5. Eat raw before cooked food - To encourage everyone to eat more veggies, I sometimes make a humus dip and serve a platter of raw cut carrots, cucumber, celery and cauliflower as a starter. Eating raw food before a cooked meal also activates enzymes in the gut that are beneficial to your health. You could make an avocado dip too.
From a Reader
I read your healthy kids food tips with interest. The first baby step that we as a family has taken to break our old ways, was to drink water with our food instead of cool drink... Not very nice in the beginning but now we are used to it and it is much healthier.
I just fill everyone's glass up and by the time they all sit down for dinner, they just drink it!
Love and best wishes
Centurion, South Africa
...so my message to you, is not to study food labels, but rather to reduce the amount of processed foods you are eating and buy healthy kids food instead.
Become a good example and try to give your children fresh foods, lots of raw food or unprocessed foods and invest in their future health.
Leave comments and share any steps YOU may be taking to improve the nutrition in your home.
Tips to get kids to eat more fruit and vegetables:
Ideally, fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach to avoid reacting with other foods. If your children don't like fruit, take it slowly. Even one piece of fresh fruit a day is a step in the right direction.
1. Introduce your children to a wide range of fruits, not just apples and bananas which tend to be common - pineapples, berries, kiwi fruits, mango, melons, grapes, plums, apricots and more. Have a taste explosion!
2. Make fruit salad.
3. Make fruit kebabs.
4. Make frozen fruit sticks.
5. Make smoothies.
6. Let the kids eat unsugared, dried fruit instead of candy and other processed snacks.
1. Serve raw vegetables between and before meals.
2. Carrots, cherry tomatoes, baby corn, and sweet mange tout or sugarsnap peas make good raw snacks.
3. Add a carrot, spinach or beetroot to your smoothies.
4. Serve a variety of salads with your meals and be a good example.
5. Try a crispy vegetable stir-fry.
6. Make a smooth, blended soup like butternut soup or tomato soup.
7. Grow your own vegetables.
8. Let your children help you prepare the vegetables and nibble while they do.
9. Buy a Spiral Vegetable Slicer
and let your children create vegetable 'spagetti' and ribbons to eat.
10. Explore different vegetables until you find some your children like.