Hello and welcome to Nutrition Supreme. My name is Eileen Pierro.

Today’s podcast is about steps you can take to promote healthy eating and lifestyle at home. I’ll share with you experiences I’ve had with children, mostly my three children, ages 9, 12 and 14.

The best advice I can give you, I already discussed on my blog,  you must eat healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle for your children to do the same. Keep this in mind at all times.

Lets discuss other things you can do to promote healthy eating and lifestyle at home:

1. Prepare meals in a healthy manner. Bake, broil, grill, boil, stew, and sauté foods.

2.  Choose lean meats such as skinless chicken, fish, lean cuts of pork and red meats.My children enjoy meats cooked in the BBQ or grill.

3.  Use healthy fats such as canola oil for cooking and olive oil for cold entrees.

4.  Offer fresh fruits and vegetables with meals and snacks daily. I always have a basket of fruits on the kitchen counter but I find that my children are more likely to eat them cut up. I frequently set up a plate of cut up fruits.   I have never had to wrap it up because they are gone within the hour after they come from school.

I do the same with vegetables.  They prefer their vegetables raw but I know of other children that prefer them cooked. Find out what your children prefer.

One time, I asked my husband to buy peppers for a recipe I was preparing that day. He brought home a large bag full of bell peppers. Needless to say, my recipe did not ask for that many peppers. I decided to cut them up to have them ready for use for the week.  My middle child called me, asking for help with homework so I left the beautiful plate of yellow, orange, red, and green peppers uncovered on the counter. By the time I came back, half of the peppers were gone. My daughter, who at the time was 7 years old, ate half of the peppers while watching her favorite cartoon.

5.  Encourage appropriate intake of drinks. Limit juices to one cup a day, serve low-fat or skim milk with meals, and offer plenty of water throughout the day.

6.  Don’t bring home sugary drinks, fried foods, and desserts.  Ideally these foods should only be eaten on holidays or special occasions.

7.  When selecting desserts choose those with more nutrients and serve small portions. Desserts made with eggs, milk, fruits, dark chocolates, and nuts are better choices.

8.  Buy the right size plates and cups for your family and allow your older kids to serve themselves. A good size cup for the young child is a four-ounce cup; give older children cups that are eight to 10 ounces.  I use paper plates on a daily basis. which saves me a lot of time in the kitchen.  I get the 7-inch plates for my two younger kids and the 8-¾ inch plates for my older son, my husband and I.

In our toddler years, we learn to eat with our eyes and taste, and learn to ignore our body signals telling us we are full.  As a result, we may eat more than we need of the foods we love. Using smaller plates help us control how much we put on the plate and how much we end up eating.

9.  Serve small portions of foods and drinks. Remember that your children will ask for seconds if they remain hungry after finishing their food.

10.  Allow your child to determine how much he or she will eat. Avoid praising a clean plate.

11.  Make sure to expose your children to a variety of foods. Children learn to love the foods they eat frequently, especially when given at an early age. Those foods may become their comfort foods. When I worked at Children’s Hospital in Boston. I use to cover the cardiac medical floor and its intensive care unit. I’ll never forget the children that came from the countries of India and Cambodia. They loved vegetables! When they were ready for solids foods, after surgery, they will ask for meals with rice or noodles with sauté vegetables, nuts, tofu, or meats.   Rice, fruits, nuts, regular milk or coconut milk are ingredients use on their traditional desserts.

12.  Continue to prepare foods that your child has not liked in the past. As children grow, their taste for food changes. Trying a food fifteen times or more may allow your child to get to like the food.   My rule at home is that you have to taste at least a half-teaspoon of every food prepared, even if you have not liked it in the past. You won’t have to eat anymore than that, if you don’t like it, but you have to keep trying the food in case your taste buds have grown up.

13.  Exercise regularly. As a family we enjoy skiing in the winter and walking, hiking, and swimming in the summer. We also encourage our children to bike to school when weather permits it and to participate in school sports.

Thank you for listening to my podcast.  I hope you have enjoyed it and learned from it. See you next time.