POSTS WITH TAG: kids nutrition

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    How many dinners does a mother cook in a lifetime? I’m not even going to do the math because whatever the answer is -- it’s a lot and a lot of work! It’s not just the act of cooking that’s the challenge, it’s the whole process of trying to please everyone’s palate and make sure you’re providing healthful yet tasty meals.

    For years I went through the motions just like my mother before me did -- meat, starch, vegetable, dessert. But then my kids stopped eating vegetables, all they wanted were the chocolate chip cookies, and two out of three decided after being totally obsessed for months and months that they simply did not eat chicken nuggets anymore. Ever.

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    My daughter eats macaroni and cheese for dinner... every freakin' night. If I dare sneak a vegetable onto her plate, she ignores the offensive morsel or, worse yet, throws it on the floor. And I know I'm not alone: Between kids' picky eating complexes and the fact that most moms don't the time of talent to whip up Martha Stewart-style meals, it can be hard to get kids to eat healthy. So we asked expert moms who are also nutritionists what they feed their kids for dinner, and why. Prepare to be surprised -- and learn some great new ideas and recipes to try at home.

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    Antibiotics, GMOs, and junk food ... oh my! There are just too many questionable ingredients lurking on the typical cafeteria tray for my taste. Even though it would save me precious time, I just can't let my kids eat school cafeteria lunches.

    All right, I am biased, perhaps traumatized is the better word, from my own memories of "Lunch Lady Land" (still one of my favorite songs by Adam Sandler). The hot dogs were so bouncy I swear they inspired the crumping trend. The mac and cheese didn’t move ... even when pierced with a fork (repeatedly). The soggy tater tots were considered vegetables. The only green I saw was the money in the cash register. It was unappetizing, to say the least.

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    Back when we only had one child, we went on a family vacation to Lake George. We stayed in a rustic cabin in a lakeside resort that had everything we needed: canoes, paddle boats, a beach, and a swimming pool for those of us who had an aversion to sand-filled diapers.

    We became friendly with a couple who had six, yup, six, kids ranging from 12 to 3 years old. They were such a happy family! We didn’t hear a raised voice or witness a single tantrum thrown by any of them -- not even the parents! I instantly liked this family but became totally enamored with them when they confessed that they home-schooled their children. All six of them! I was in complete awe of this Herculean task.

    One day, they piled into their oversized van for a trip to town to play miniature golf. 

    “Geometry class!” the mother laughed.

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    Last year we had 165 days of school here in Eugene, Oregon. My oldest son managed to get perfect attendance (he was singularly focused on this goal as the last day of school approached, despite my killjoy assurances that he would in fact not be featured in the local paper for his stunning achievement), and he never purchased a meal from the school cafeteria. That means I fixed him 165 school lunches throughout the year ... and here's my humiliating confession: he had the exact same lunch every time.

    That may be a slight exaggeration, but when I say slight, I mean slight. His main entree never changed even once. It was a PB&J, on whatever that creepily soft white-yet-whole-grain bread is. The peanut butter brand never changed. The jelly was always blackberry. My son's lunch was like Steve Jobs' famous closet, only instead of black turtlenecks and jeans, it was day after day of the same old sandwich.

    I ... okay, I'm not particularly proud of this.

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    Juice cleanses have been all the rage for the past several years, as women and men are starting to puree their fruits and vegetables into drinkable concoctions. But a new, and very disturbing, trend has surfaced lately: juice cleanses for kids. And they're bad. Like, really, really bad.

    Turns out, grade school-aged kids are now flocking to the spinach, kale, and beet mixtures. A California-based company has even been selling a Children's Cleanse of liquid extracts that's are meant for kids from 2 to 12. That means that your toddler, and even your growing preteen, can now rid their body of toxins and -- bonus! -- probably shed a few pounds.

    Is this crazy or what?

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  • Rant

    Juice Cleanses Aren't for Kids

    posted by Sunny Chanel May 6 at 11:19 PM in Big Kid
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    There are a whole lot of diet trends that parents just love and totally swear by, from going vegan to going gluten free.

    While many moms and dads may include their children in the newfangled food fad, there is one you just shouldn't do with your kid: Please don't put your child on a juice cleanse.

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    Whether they're minor or severe, food allergies and aversions can be threatening to a child's safety or health. Any child with serious allergies, and their parents, know how important it is to keep them protected from anything that can trigger an allergic reaction. If that means changing the whole family's diet or shopping for exclusively allergen-free products, families will often make changes in their habits to make sure that kids are kept healthy and are able to avoid irritants.

    However, plenty of people are ignorant and insensitive to those who suffer incredibly serious, even life-threatening, allergies to certain foods. And unfortunately, when people lack understanding, they tend to make not-so-nice comments to parents of kids with food allergies. We can all do better to understand what these families deal with on a daily basis. Here is a list of 10 things you should never say to a mom of a child with allergies:

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) 

    More than 30,000 people showed up at the White House yesterday for the 2014 "Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape" Easter Egg Roll, but 7 kid reporters (including my daughter) were lucky enough to have a more intimate meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama on the floor of the White House Library.

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)  

    Yesterday I was part of a group of 7 Kid Reporters who met with First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll (that's me in the light blue dress on the left). We met in the White House library to talk about the program she started four years ago called Let's Move and how kids can stay healthy. As a kid, there are a lot of reasons I like this program.

    Here they are:

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