Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Raising Healthy Eaters: Rachael Ray KID FOOD Giveaway WINNER!

A BIG THANK YOU to all who entered my very first giveaway!  And to those who are new followers- welcome aboard!  I'm looking forward to sharing my corner of the world with you and hearing more of those wonderful tips.  Speaking of tips, I decided to compile a summary of the advice I received on how to raise healthy eaters!

Tips from my participants:

* Consistently sit down and eat as a family
* GET YOUR KIDS IN THE KITCHEN WITH YOU!!! (This one was agreed upon by LOTS of you!)
* Puree veggies into sauces etc. (A GREAT tip that I'm excited to try!)
* Introduce a variety of foods and serve a variety regularly
* Plant a garden.  This was suggested for a couple reasons.  1) homegrown produce tastes better,       2) a way to involve kids in the cooking process
* When kids help in the kitchen, assign age appropriate tasks
* Rarely provide "junk" to eat
* Avoid serving a second meal for the kids
* Have the kids help plan the menu and require meals to be balanced.  
* Don't force a child to eat something
* Lead by example.  Try new things yourself!
* Think outside the box- be creative with meals!
* Take kids shopping for groceries and allow them to choose one healthy "pick of the day"
* Keep fresh fruits and veggies ON HAND
* Use food to reinforce lessons or literature.  (Anyone else make Stone Soup in school?)
* Praise good behavior
* Make artwork out of the foods on a plate- smiley faces, flowers, boats, etc.

My favorite comment was from Suzanne who said:

"I agree that a great way of getting kids to eat healthy is to have them participate regularly in cooking. They are much more likely to try something new when they have prepared it themselves.
I think it helps with dexterity and patience to carefully measure this and slowly pour that. It's fun too see them experiment with ingredients and flavorings - That vanilla extract smells wonderful but it sure doesn't taste very good, does it? "  

The contradiction between vanilla's smell and taste is something I haven't taught my kids yet, but I think I should keep a camera (or video camera) close by when I have them taste it! 

And the winner is... Comment #39, "ecky"!  

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