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You are what you eat


More and more studies on obesity in children have shown that kids, now more than ever, are not eating the right foods.

We know that getting kids to eat healthier is easier said than done. In my day we didn't have cupboards full of prepackaged snacks. You were lucky to get a Wagon Wheel once in a blue moon. Sugary cereal was only eaten on special occasions like camping or staying at that crazy Aunt's house overnight.

Keeping on track with nutrition can be, but does not have to be, demanding and time consuming. Keep a magnetic paper pad on your fridge and always write out your shopping list. It is much easier to wrestle a few kids into a shopping cart and brave the grocery store when you are prepared.

Keep your list high on the fridge, free from purple crayon or goldfish cracker goop.

Rumbling tummies fill up quickly, so buy weekly supplies when possible. Active kids need more calories than they get during their three squares a day. Snacking between those meals can add up to more than 20 per cent of your kiddie's daily energy. Making nutritious snacks that your kids will actually eat is often a challenge.

Toddler nutrition has particularly and most recently come under scrutiny. The Enfamil folks have come out with a new product called Enfagrow. Enfagrow is designed to supplement the diet of toddlers. It is not a meal replacement, but supplement to the somewhat sporadic diet of these finicky little guys.

"New Enfagrow nutritional supplement is made especially with your growing toddler in mind. It has 23 vitamins and minerals and is high in calcium and iron, nutrients that help in normal growth and development. Your toddler is growing so fast, so it's important to continue providing balanced nutrition. Adding one or two servings of Enfagrow to your toddler's daily diet is one more way for you to help your toddler get the nutrition needed for healthy growth and development."

Check out their website; If you fill out the required personal info they will send you a free sample.

So back to the question of 'How do you get your kids to eat snacks that aren't loaded with sugar, sodium, and fat?'Include the kids in good food preparation. For little folks, taking part in a grown up activity makes them feel a great sense of pride. This in turn will make those little mouths open wide to try something new, something they have made themselves. When you work with your child to learn improved eating habits and more balanced food choices you are giving them the chance for better health.

Again, easier said than done at times. For me there is not a childproof lock designed to keep little hands from a bottom-style freezer refrigerator. Our summertime has been dubbed "Battle of the Freezie". I am now convinced that a box of 196 freezies is not such a good deal after all.

Here are a few healthy snack ideas to please your toughest kitchen table critics.

Peach Petal Salad: Sweet and juicy, peaches are a fresh fruit favorite. Your child can put a spoonful of cottage cheese onto a plate while you cut a peach into slices. Then together, you and your young helper can arrange the slices into "petals." Try putting some berries in the middle for the center of the flower. Won't eat cottage cheese? Try yogurt.

Ants on a Log: Tell a toddler you're giving him peanut butter on celery and he may give you an uneasy look in return-but tell him you're making Ants on a Log and you're likely to pique his interest! Simply spread some peanut butter on a celery stick and let your child put on the raisins or chocolate chips for the ants.

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