Healthy Kids With Gardening

Healthy Kids With Gardening

If you have kids, you know how difficult it can be to get them to eat a healthy diet. I’m here to tell you, it is possible to have healthy kids with gardening. One of the simplest ways to get your children to eat fruits and vegetables is to get them involved in growing healthy food. You will be amazed to see your kids eating the same fruits and vegetables they’ve refused in the past. Grow a garden for healthy kids. It’s that simple!

A few years back, I started noticing more and more headlines about farmers using dangerous pesticide in the food we purchase from the supermarket. I began wondering if the fresh produce I was encouraging my kids to eat was healthy after all? Some of the articles even pointed to research linking common childhood and adult diseases to the use of pesticide in fruits and vegetables. I was convinced it was time to find a better way to eat healthy.

How do we avoid the dangers of pesticide and know our kids are getting the healthy food they need? The answer is to grow the food yourself. Not only will you feel good about what your family is eating, but growing a garden with your kids is really fun. Family fun AND healthy eating, oh my! It sounds too good to be true. But it can be reality for your family. You too can have healthy kids with gardening.

I have always been a believer in healthy eating and fitness, but just because I enjoy eating salads doesn’t mean my kids always follow my lead. I have had challenges getting them to eat fruit and veggies. When my husband started a gardening hobby several years ago, I noticed how excited my kids were to get involved. They even started asking to taste the fruit and vegetables. It was like a dream come true! I thought to myself, maybe this garden can help us do more than just grow healthy food. That was when I realized we could have healthy kids with gardening. This hobby was the answer. At that point, I was hooked and we have been growing our own food ever since.

I know what you’re thinking right now. These are the things running through your head:

• I would love to grow healthy kids with healthy food, but I don’t have time.
• That sounds like a lot of work.
• My kids are so picky, I’m not sure this will work for them.

I would like to challenge your thoughts with my own facts. I am also a busy, working mom. I know how stressful life can be with kids. But I’m here to tell you it’s possible to grow healthy kids and healthy food with little time and effort. So, here is my reply to your concerns.

• You can grow healthy food and have healthy kids with a small time commitment.
• There are many low maintenance, pre-made gardening systems for reasonable prices that require little effort and maintenance.
• I promise, if you get your kids involved in planting and taking care of plants, they will be excited enough to give them a try.

Growing a garden with your kids is not only healthy, but it’s also fun. You will enjoy some great quality time with the kids, and it’s really a small investment of your time. You will get so much joy seeing the excitement on your children’s faces when the seeds sprout and when your first fruits or vegetables begin to grow. So what are you waiting for? You really should get started today.

Get Your Kids Outside

Healthy Kids – Get Your Kids Outside

Healthy kids are something we all want. Let’s face it there’s not much more that breaks our hearts than seeing our own kids suffering because they’re sick or under the weather. Most of us would rather be sick ourselves than to see our own kids suffering due to an illness. Since not having our kids get sick is so important to us, it’s really important that we teach and also set good examples of healthy living for our kids.

How can we honestly think our own kids are going to develop good healthy habits if their parents aren’t setting good examples? Kids learn a great deal by simply observing what their parents do. This is true throughout their lives.

Having said that, here are a few things you can do as a parents or guardians to ensure your kids are getting every chance to pick up and learn good healthy habits. Many of these will also help us as parents get some needed exercise.

o During the summertime or when the weather is nice take a family walk or a bike ride every night. This type of exercise is not only good for your health it also is a good idea to do a family activity; this’ll encourage and support the belief in the family spending quality time together.

o Share outside chores with your kids. These don’t have to be difficult things but some things like helping water your trees or helping pick weeds or racking the grass can help your kids appreciate the outdoors, not to mention earn a sense of achievement by helping out.

o Encourage your kids’ involvement in sports at a young age. Most communities have some sort of organized summer sports. These can include T-ball, baseball, basketball, etc. Pick out a couple for your kids to try out. Don’t get discouraged if your kids don’t seem to take an interest and be careful not “push” your kids into sports, they must take in interest for it to be sustainable.

o Get involved in some healthy lifestyle activities yourself. By taking up running or by joining an adult sports league of some sort, your kids will more likely take an interest in getting involved in sports activities.

Healthy Kid’s Snack Ideas

Healthy Kid’s Snack Ideas

Parents are often looking for healthy kids snacks to help their children stay fit. It can be a challenge, though, with all of the unhealthy, over-sweetened and fattening snacks out there to tempt your kids. Worst of all, advertising actively targets children, encouraging them to have a sweet tooth and crave junk food. While it can seem like an uphill battle, there are things you can do to instill healthy snacking habits in your children.

Snacks, for children and adults alike, can be a time when people make some of their least healthy eating choices. With kids, this can be a time when you can’t always be watching or supervising what they eat. You can, however, send them off to school with some healthy snacks, which can help them develop good habits.

Until recently, it has been widely assumed that watching your weight was something you didn’t have to worry about until you were an adult, maybe even middle-aged. Sadly, however, we are seeing a rapid increase in childhood obesity. The causes for this are mainly twofold, and not very hard to identify: an increase in calories and junk food and a corresponding decrease in physical activity! You can help to influence your children in positive ways in both of these areas.

Be sure that your kids get a good breakfast every morning. This should include a high quality protein and maybe some fruit. Being too hungry in between meals is one reason kids gravitate towards unhealthy snacks. If you give them cereal for breakfast, try to give them a healthy one that is not over-sweetened. Sugary cereals can start off a day long habit of sugar spikes and letdowns. Sugar acts as a drug in the body, and has an addictive quality. So if kids (or adults) start the day off eating very sweet foods, as soon as the initial sugar jolt starts to wear off they will start craving more.

Healthy trail mixes can make excellent snacks. Again, look for ones without added sugar. Today many trail mixes contain pieces of candy, which are hardly healthy. Nuts and dried fruit are good sources of, respectively, protein and natural sugar. Another idea is to put the trail mix into some plain yogurt. You can add a little natural sweetener like raw honey, pure maple syrup or agave nectar.

Instead of potato chips or pretzels, try giving your kids healthier substitutes like vegetable chips, which can be found in natural foods section of your supermarket.

You can also find things like organic, whole grain crackers. These can be dipped in foods like hummus, baba ganoush (both tasty Middle Eastern spreads), guacamole or an all natural salsa.

If you buy packaged snacks, look for healthier alternatives to candy bars. Even many energy bars are highly sweetened. They do, however, make energy bars or fruit strips that are only sweetened with organic or natural ingredients instead of sugar or corn syrup.

These are just a few ideas for healthy kids snacks. If you make it a point to pay attention to what your children eat in between meals you can help them develop healthier eating habits.

Good Healthy

Good Healthy Food = Good Healthy Kids

I had an epiphany the other day as I loaded the car from yet another grocery store trip. Produce is heavy! (That wasn’t the extent of it-stick with me here). Produce has some good, solid mass. When you pick a grapefruit you want one that is heavier than it looks. In this particular shopping excursion I had purchased 30 grapefruit, and they were all heavier than they looked. It took some muscle to just load up the grapefruit! I also had oranges, apples, bananas, pears, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, yams, squash, etc, etc, you get the idea. It had been awhile since I’d done a good shopping so I also had some healthy cold cereal that my kids will actually eat on those crazy days when we’re in a rush. After heaving the produce into the car that bag of cold cereal almost flew out of my hands as I loaded it up with the same enthusiasm.

“You are what you eat” rang loudly through my head. I thought of my children-they are all heavier than they look. They are solid kids-not fat-solid. Their cousin counterparts weigh much less than my kids and I’m always surprised when I pick the cousins up-they are so light!!

I thought of my kids and looked at the food in the back of my car. 85% of it was produce. Good, healthy, colorful, solid, delicious produce. This produce is the mainstay of what my children eat-and they are healthy kids! In my mind I saw my children being synonymous with the grapefruit I had just purchased. They are heavier than they look, just like the grapefruit I had so carefully picked out. Every time they eat they are taking nutrient dense food into their bodies and building strong healthy bones and muscles. They don’t drink milk or eat a lot of packaged food, and in that moment I committed to doing even better at making sure my children get the produce they need to keep growing strong and healthy.

Fruits and vegetables are a mainstay in our home, and the kids will often ask for their favorites when we go shopping. Just this week my eight year old begged for kiwi while my 6 year old begged for fresh green beans at the grocery store. You read that right-green beans!! My 3 year old was so sad that there wasn’t any corn on the cob in sight, but settled for strawberries this time.

It doesn’t take much to convince me to buy their favorite fruits and vegetables during our weekly shopping-after all, you are what you eat!

Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids: A Mom’s Secrets To Keeping Kids Healthy

We all want healthy kids. But what can we do to help them stay healthy? The average child gets sick 10 times a year. That number is simply too high and there is no reason why it should be that high. Once or twice a year colds or other viruses are understandable, but 10 times a year? Think of all the missed school for them and missed work for you and the fun family times that have to be rescheduled or canceled completely. There are some simple things we can do as parents to turn sick kids into healthy kids.

The first step to a healthy kid is a healthy diet. Kids need lots of good nutrition. Foods that are full of sugar, fat, starch, and are highly processed are not nutritious. Good nutrition starts at home. There are many simple little changes you can make immediately to get the entire family eating healthier. Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains need to be provided daily. It may seem easier and cheaper to buy the frozen, packaged and processed versions, but it’s really not. You will find that buying healthy is actually cheaper than buying junk. Look up some healthy recipes, make a shopping list and go to the store thinking healthy. Stay away from potato chips, soda and candy. Instead buy whole grain crackers, pretzels, and fresh fruits. We all crave salty and sweet treats, so use these healthy substitutes instead. Kids eat what is available to them; it is your job to make sure they have healthy choices.

The next step to a healthy kid is to focus on the environment around our children. Harmful hazards can be found all over the home. The first thing you need to do is go clean out your cabinets. Any cleaning products that are not safe need to go. Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. If your children have asthma or allergies they are especially susceptible to the irritating upper respiratory effects of toxic chemicals. I use only safe, non-toxic cleaning products in my home and would have it no other way. You don’t have to buy the expensive “all-natural” products, but buy from a brand you can trust. There are many safer products available, but not all are created equal. Look for products that are super-concentrated; they will give you the best bang for your buck and also help protect the environment.

Finally, healthy kids need adequate exercise. If they are home with you, get them up off the couch and moving with you. There are plenty of easy, kid-friendly exercise videos available to choose from or you can make up your own routine. My kids and I like to play tag, take walks, and go to the park. If the weather is bad, move the activity indoors. Jumping-jacks, jump rope, yoga for kids, and other fun activities can be done indoors at home. Or you can enroll them in karate, gymnastics, dance class, or after school sports activities. Be creative! The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, as long as the kids are active and having fun. The key to getting kids to exercise is to make it fun. Switch up the routine and don’t be too pushy about exercising at home. The best way to get your kids active is to lead by example. If they see you making an effort to stay fit, chances are they will join in.

Healthy Kids recipes

Healthy Kids’ Recipe with Vitamin C

Healthy Kids recipes should always include foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin C is especially important for children. The good thing about Vitamin C is that it is present in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Children need a daily intake of Vitamin C because it is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Among the many benefits of Vitamin C for children is that it acts as a powerful anti-oxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory agent that prevents oxygen-based damage to the cells

Children can get their daily dose of Vitamin C by consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruit is a delicious food with wonderful colors and textures that appeal to children. Fruit is one of the easiest healthy foods to get kids to eat.

Fruits as well as vegetables are vital for the health and well being of children. Raw fruits are preferred because of their high fiber and water content. But frozen fruits and vegetables are still a viable source of Vitamin C that can be an alternative to fresh vegetables.

Vitamin C has to be consumed daily because the body does not store Vitamin C. Pediatricians recommend that children should consume at least 30 – 45 mg. of vitamin C per day. This is the minimum requirement. Parents should check with their own Pediatrician to confirm the requirement or special needs for their children. Children with asthma or other health problems may require a higher consumption of Vitamin C.

Some nutritionist recommends a daily intake of up to 200 mg./day of Vitamin C. If a child consumes the recommended daily allowance of five servings of fresh fruit or vegetables per day, they would be in this recommended target range.

The bad news is that less than 20% of children or adults consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits or vegetables. Meeting the minimum RDA can be as simple as increasing the kinds of fruits and vegetables consumed each day.

Citrus fruits like strawberries, lemons and oranges are delicious sources of Vitamin C. Fresh squeezed orange juice, or a homemade strawberry milkshake are favorites with kids. Fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day will provide a healthy thirst quencher.

Try this Strawberry Fluff Recipe

Ingredients:

*16 oz. strawberries fresh or frozen

*1 pkg. colored marshmallows

*1 large tub of Cool Whip

*1/4-cup sugar

Instructions:

1. Cut up the strawberries

2. Mix with Cool Whip

3. Add sugar

4. Mix well

5. Stir in 1/2 to 3/4 package marshmallows

6. Refrigerate

There are other vegetables and fruits that contain high volumes of Vitamin C. An unlikely source of Vitamin C is broccoli and cauliflower. These nutrient rich vegetables provide over 45 mg. of Vitamin C in a ½ cup serving. Exotic but delicious fruits like papaya, mango or kiwi have high Vitamin C content. A slice of tomato provides 25 mg. of vitamin C.

The RDA recommendation provides the basic amount of Vitamin C that is needed to avoid a deficiency disease. But children have unique requirements for Vitamin C as they develop. A diet rich in Vitamin C offers a lot of health benefits for both children and adults.

Healthy Kids Snacks

Fun Healthy Kids Snacks

It’s a well known fact – growing children love to snack! Making fun healthy kids snacks will provide your children with fillers between meal times that are healthy and nutritious. While it is very easy to hand a bag of potato chips to your child to munch on, it will not give the child any nutritional value. Too much fast food, oily foods and over eating have led to a huge problem of overweight children across the country. As parents we have to take control of our children’s eating habits and steer them on the right path to eating foods that provide the nutrition the body needs to grow healthy and strong.

Children get hungry very quickly and if you have trained your child to eat right from a very young age you will not have any problem in getting them to eat the right kinds of snacks. Every growing child is going to need fillers between meals and it is better to train a child to eat smaller portioned meals more often. Healthy snacks are good fillers and can consist of fruits and other whole grain snacks that will add value to the growing body.

Supermarkets are inundated with kids snacks in exciting packages and oh so easy to just dump a few in the trolley and move on. Time savers indeed! These processed foods contain plenty of sugar that is not good for anybody. You can make eating fruit a lot more fun by blending it into yoghurt that makes for a very tasty snack. Alternatively you can also serve the child a fruit platter with a bowl of flavored yoghurt as a dip. Another alternative to getting your child to eat more fruit is to make fruit popsicles – goes down great on a summer day. Fruit smoothies are really very popular among children and can be made from low fat milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit. Your child gets the dual health benefits from fruit and low fat dairy products together. You can make up combinations of fresh vegetables and exciting dips or put low fat peanut butter on whole grain crackers. All of these ideas make for healthy snacks that are going to fill your child up in more ways than one with the goodness of nutrition.

When we are busy rushing around between work, the kids and home with barely a minute to breathe, it is very difficult to think nutritious when easy is all that comes to mind. However, every parent is urged to find the time to make up a list of fun healthy kids snacks based on the preferences of the child. Make a conscious effort to shop right; if you don’t have it in the house the child is not tempted to eat it!

If you take the time to consider your options to provide fun healthy kids snacks you will be pleasantly surprised, there is quite a list of possibilities ranging from fruit, pretzels, crackers with peanut butter, muffins, yoghurt, granola and so much more. Make the time – your child’s health depends on the food you feed him or her.