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Healthy Kid Tips

Cooking Magic for Kids Tip: By replacing processed food with superfoods from the garden, kids can turn the tide on the alarming rise of childhood diabetes, obesity, and life threatening food allergies.

Healthy Tips for Kids

Eating fruits and vegetables is the number one habit for healthy living and is the most delicious and nutritious when eaten fresh, local, organic, and in season. The secret to enticing kids to eat their veggies is to get them involved in the planting, growing, and cooking process.  Kids get so excited growing their own organic backyard garden that they eat fresh picked fruits and veggies while harvesting them. Kids breathe fresh air, get great exercise, and help the environment working in the garden. Kids’ food self-sufficiency can start small with learning how to make their own sandwich and to grow herbs in the kitchen window.

  

Many illnesses can be prevented when kids wash their hands with soap and water often, especially when cooking and eating. Drinking eight glasses of pure water a day flushes kids systems of toxins, keeps them hydrated during exercise and their skin glowing. Meal planning can be a fun family activity. Kids enjoy choosing their favorite rainbow of veggies.  Everyone can help in the kitchen, washing the produce or setting the table. At the store, kids can read the labels on food packages, checking the ingredients and the sell-by dates. Kids love a fun outing to the local organic veggie stand, Farmers Market, and You-Pick Farms. Kids can learn to steam veggies, leaving a little crunch along with the vitamins and minerals. Kids that are invested in the outcome will enjoy their meal even more, making mealtime full of laughter and gratitude. How kids experience food in their homes and environment, changes their bodies and metabolic process. Kids can create healthy habits for a lifetime while enjoying a nutritious meal with loved ones.

Kids Rainbow Super Foods

Kids can eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for a healthy, balanced diet. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are the magic secret for all around health. Each vivid color is a different spectrum of photochemical nutrients and antioxidants. Fruits and veggies also provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Kids can eat five servings of colorful fresh local organic fruit and veggies like an orange, blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and corn, every day to be healthy and strong with alert minds ready to learn. Nutritionists encourage kids to eat a variety of different color fruits and veggies, as each color has different nutrients to support a healthy diet. Kids can boost their immune system by eating ripe foods in season and enjoy a colorful array of organic produce that is locally available. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, eating a diversity of vegetables is the key to prevent disease. Super Foods, according to scientific studies, are high in nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that help lower the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Growing an organic backyard garden brings an abundance of fresh Super Foods to the dinner table in the form of fruits, herbs, and veggies. Eating super food like fresh organic blueberries can improve learning capacity and motor skills needed for school. When kids eat lots of different organic fruits, nuts, grains, and veggies, they can get all the vitamins and minerals to grow strong healthy bodies.

Healthy Kids in Sports

Active kids use lots of energy and need to eat a healthy balanced diet to fuel their muscles and perform at a high level. Food supplies kids with energy, rebuilding their muscles, tissues, and organs. Kids need energy reserves for sports activities. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for kids’ brains and muscles and should make up about a third of a balanced diet. Kids can eat spaghetti the night before a game for easy digestion and extra energy. For endurance racing, kids need up to 70% carbohydrates. Dried fruit and nuts are a concentrated energy food for added brain power. Kids can eat lots of organic steamed veggies, fruits, bread with peanut butter, rice, pasta, or potatoes before the game. During the game, kids can grab fresh fruit, like organic orange slices, and keep hydrated drinking lots of pure water. To cut down on plastic bottles in the land fill, kids can bring a large stainless steel thermos of filtered water. Shortly after the game or event, active kids need to refuel by drinking lots of water and eating a high carbohydrate meal, like pasta and veggies with a yogurt shake. Young athletes need to stick to a balanced diet, cutting out sodas and deep fried foods, eating a variety of fruits and veggies every day, and drinking plenty of water.  Sports are fun, making kids healthy and happy.

Kids Rethink their Drink

Kids need to drink eight cups of pure water a day, instead of soft drinks, sweetened juices, and sodas, to rid their bodies of toxins and keep their systems running smoothly. Pediatricians say just switching water for soda or other sugary drinks is a major health victory for kids and their families. In the 1980’s the soda industry switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper and 1½ times sweeter than sugar. The average soda contains up to 15 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup! When consumed at these high doses it becomes a toxin in the body with the fructose going to the liver and creating fatty cells leaving mercury and other chemical contaminates. As the use of high fructose corn syrup has increased in America, so has the level of obesity and related health problems. The soda and junk food vending machines have been removed from school campuses in the Conejo Valley School District. The Ventura County Public Health Department is now installing hydration stations of good tasting filtered water in schools. Pure water is delicious, refreshing and healing. Instead of buying plastic bottles of water or soda, kids can save money, health, and the environment by carrying filtered water from home in reusable stainless steel bottles.

Kids investigate Labels

Kids can be detectives at the market and read all the food packaging labels on the foods that go into the shopping cart. Kids can find lots of information to make healthy food choices. The Nutrition Facts food label tells kids how many servings are in the package, how big the servings are and how many calories are in each serving. It also tells kids how much nutrition this food provides and the percentage of the daily requirements of nutrients this food meets. Kids can check for chemical additives and preservatives, allergy advice, instructions about storage conditions, defrosting, and cooking times to ensure the food is fresh and safe to eat. Kids can hunt down the Use by Date which tells how long the food may be stored. Kids can check at home for any food in the pantry or refrigerator that has an expired Use by Date and throw out any food that is past due. When kids get interested in valuing their bodies, making the right food choices, and choosing the proper portion sizes, they get the best start to a happy, healthy life.

Kids Local, Organic, Seasonal Diet

Kids can go to the Farmers Market and buy local organic produce to be eco-friendly and save the energy to prepare our food for shipping and the fuel used by trucks to transport it. What could be more local than creating a raised bed vegetable garden in the backyard? Many kids are afraid of getting dirty and have no idea where their food comes from. Growing fruits and veggies in large pots on the patio, herbs and veggies in wall planting pockets, or herbs in window sills excites kids to prepare and eat them. Eating food that grows where we live also helps with our allergies and immunities. Locally produced organic food is fresher, in season, and is greener, creating sustainable local agriculture. Organic farming also creates healthy soil and protects our water resources from being contaminated. A tip farmers give kids is not to wash the produce until you are ready to use it and don’t refrigerate it until it is fully ripe.