Home / Articles / Tagged: veggies

Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy

Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy

Teaching kids to eat well can be tricky. You don’t want to give them more facts than they can grasp or turn every meal into a lecture. But wait too long and they could pick up unhealthy habits in the meantime.

“Kids need to know that every food they put into their bodies affects them,” says Danelle Fisher, MD, chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

Parents can get that message across by talking with kids about the food they put in their bodies, why it matters, and how they can learn to make the healthiest choices.

Make sure healthy foods are the default setting for your family’s meals, and get everyone involved in choosing some nutritious, tasty options. Take kids with you to the grocery store or farmers market. Younger kids can pick out fresh fruits and veggies. Older kids can take on larger roles like choosing recipes and making a shopping list.

Explain that they should fill half their plate with fruits and veggies that have nutrients that will help their bodies grow. The other half should be whole grains and lean protein that gives them energy to run, dance, and play. When you’re cooking or grocery shopping, show them different examples of these key food groups.

Kids should learn that all foods have a place in their diet. Label foods as “go,” “slow,” or “whoa.” Kids can “green light” foods like whole grains and skim milk they should have every day and “slow down” with less healthy foods like waffles. Foods with the least nutrition, such as french fries, don’t need to be off-limits, but kids should stop and think twice before they eat them often.

It’s not just what kids eat that matters, but how much. Even very young kids can learn that the amount of rice or pasta they eat should match the size of their fist. Protein should be palm-sized, and fats like butter or mayonnaise about the tip of their thumb. When you buy packaged foods, have kids help you find the serving size. Then talk about why sticking to it is a good idea.

Explain to older kids that while candy and cookies taste good, sugar can do their body more harm than good. (You can tell younger kids that too many sweets will make them feel “yucky.”) Then, offer fresh fruit for desserts and limit treats to two or three times a week to keep cravings for sweets in check.

We’re born knowing to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full. But that’s easy to ignore when you’re surrounded by snacks and giant portions. To help kids listen to their bodies, don’t push them to have “one more bite” or clean their plate.  Turn off screens during meals, too. They distract kids from paying attention to how much they’re eating and when they’ve had enough.

If you push your kids to eat broccoli but never touch it yourself, you might need to take a closer look at your diet. Every bite you take matters. “Role modeling is one of the best ways to get your children onboard with healthier eating,” says Stephanie Middleberg, a registered dietitian in New York City.

Kids who eat meals with their family are more likely to eat healthy fruits, veggies, and whole grains. (They’re also less apt to snack on junk food.) You don’t need to lecture about nutrition while you eat. Make meals together fun. Turn on some music, choose silly games to play, or let kids invite a friend.

If you think your child needs to lose or gain weight, don’t put them on a diet. Instead, speak to his doctor. “Your pediatrician can help you discuss basic food groups, meal time behaviours, food portions, and weight,” Fisher says.

Reference: Stephanie Booth by GrowWebMD

Three ways to get the best out of Broccoli

Three ways to get the best out of Broccoli

If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list. But how sure are you that you’re cooking them right?

There are four ways of preparing broccoli (you could use asparagus, green beans, or even sliced zucchini if you prefer). Each method uses the exact same ingredients, so you can really see the differences among them.

Grab a pen and paper or might as well save this for future reference.


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Vegetable peeler
Mixing spoon
Measuring spoons
4 medium-sized bowls
Large spoon
Small rimmed baking sheet
Oven mitts
Medium-sized skillet
Medium-sized pot with lid


1 large bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
8 teaspoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  lemon wedges


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

Cut the stalks from the broccoli, and cut the florets into bite-size pieces.

Use the vegetable peeler to remove some of the tough outer peel from the stalks, then cut the skinny stalks into 2-inch pieces and cut the thick stalks into thin (1/4-inch) slices.

For raw:
Put 1/4 of the broccoli in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix well. Serve with lemon wedges.
For roasted:
Turn the oven on and the heat to 500 degrees.
Put 1/4 of the broccoli on the baking sheet. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix well.
Once the oven temperature has reached 500 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the broccoli is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
For pan-roasted:
 Put 1/4 of the broccoli, 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the pan and put the pan on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.
Cook, stirring every now and then, until the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
For steamed:
Fill the pot 1/2 inch full of water and put the pot on the stove. Cover the pot with the lid, turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil (you'll know it's boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface).
Put 1/4 of the broccoli in the pot, put the lid back on, and steam for 5 minutes.
Drain the broccoli in the colander, then put it back in the pot. Sprinkle on 2 teaspoons oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt, and serve with lemon wedges.
"Florets" are the branched clusters at the top of the broccoli.
Don't have a 1/8-teaspoon measure? Eyeball half of a 1/4 teaspoon measure!