Healthy Eating Tips

Let's start with what the season has to offer.

1. September in New York means apples, pumpkins, zucchini and lettuces will all be available at local farmer's markets. While there, let your kids select their choice for fruits and vegetables, chances are if they participate in picking it out, they’ll eat it. 

2. Raisins are nature's candy, right!?! Try substituting sliced fresh fruits, dried fruits or nuts for sweets or candy when kids are looking for snacks. They’re filling, tasty and nutritious! 

3. It's important to talk about nutrition with your kids, but announcing that you’re making a “healthy new dish full of vegetables for dinner” will probably prompt your child  to say "they made us eat vegetables at school".  Instead, just set the plate down and let your kid explore it and decide for themselves if they like it based on taste, not on whether its healthy for them.

4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it should ideally be the largest meal of the day to get your child off on the right foot. After ten to twelve hours with no food it’s important to refuel their bodies, but a good breakfast helps   kids concentrate in school before lunch. Children should jump start their metabolism in the morning so their bodies don’t enter starvation mode,  Breakfast eaters have better hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills.

5. Put good in, get good out. Eating healthy foods provides your mind and body with what it needs to perform at its best.  Nut free, no problem! The markets are filled with a great variety of nut free options from Sunflower Seed Butters to Nut Free Granola Bars

6. Make cooking together fun, play some music and allow kids to finish a dish with garnishes (such as apples, raisins and cinnamon powder). They will enjoy eating something that they helped to prepare 

7.  Farm Fresh, take a trip to a local farm like Muscoot Farm in Katonah, New York.  This interactive farm lets you see a real working farm up close and personal.  Most Weekends you can find a 4-H member giving a live demonstration.

 8. Involving kids in the process of meal planning is an easy way to keep kids interested in healthy foods. Farmer’s markets are increasing in popularity across the nation and this is a great way to decrease your family’s carbon footprint while enjoying produce that is fresh from the farm. Have fun by letting the kids choose their own vegetables and starches each week and challenge them to try new things. They will be able to interact with the growers at the different booths and ask questions about the produce and the farms on which they are grown. Help them along at first and give them questions to ask such as “how long does it take to grow a tomato?” or “Do you have animals on your farm?” “How many different types of fruits and vegetables do you grow?” “What does heirloom mean?” “How does it taste?” “What is your favorite way to prepare this? Having knowledge of the food they are eating will build better eating habits and enjoyment for years to come.