Since 2010, August has been designated “Kids Eat Right” month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Consumers can go to the Academies specialized website on kids nutrition for resources targeting children from birth through the teen years by clicking here.
Need help feeding your toddler? Need help with a school age child struggling with weight issues? Need help with an adolescent seeking to learn facts about nutrition? All of these questions and more can be answered by this excellent resource.
Like many families, mine has nutritional challenges. We have children with anaphylactic peanut and tree nut allergies, another child with a specific dietary intolerance that eliminates an entire food group, one child who chooses not to eat any dairy with the exception of milk, and a husband who doesn’t enjoy shellfish .
As if all of these issues aren’t enough to contend with, our toddler is still on the fence about bacon (yes, bacon!). To make things even more complex, my husband and I both work, our kids range in age from 3-15, we balance other parents homes, boarding school, team and club sports, and so much more. So how do we feed our kids?
I use the same resources I’ve referred to here. Also, we have dinner favorites that everyone enjoys. When cooking a new dinner for our family, I aim to please 3 of our 6. I always offer a big bowl of pasta, fresh sliced fruit and vegetables, and yogurt as dinner alternates.
In addition, the advice of introducing a child to a new food at least 15 times is one to follow. In our family, I joke that it has taken me 15 years to get my son to eat eggs.
Despite always having them in the house and using them in meal prep and cooking daily, he began eating eggs after a friend, who is a highly credentialed personal trainer, recommended them as a source of protein. Sometimes food choices don’t come from parents. Don’t stop trying! Use smaller portions – not larger than a tablespoon when introducing a new food to a child – over, and over again.
Another approach that has worked extremely well for our family is the 20 minute family dinner. As a newer, blended family we are still trying hard to encourage time when we can all be together to share and grow. Meal times have been an ideal opportunity. Are these dinners relaxing and easy? Not always, and most of the time they are downright chaotic. However, we talk with our kids and model the best nutrition for them.
So, as promised (and in addition to “www.kidseatright.org“), here are the best food and nutrition websites for kids:
In addition these are some of my favorite books for kids nutrition:
Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Foods for Kids
Sheri L. Sanderson
J. Bauer RD
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Kids Cook 1-2-3: Recipes for Young Chefs Using Only 3 Ingredients
MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter
Where Does My Food Go
Ruth Sundback RD
Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense (for adults)
Ellyn Satter RD
Your Child’s Weight Helping Without Harming Birth Through Adolescence
Ellyn Satter RD
The Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers
Janice N. Bissex RD and Liz Weiss RD
Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active, and Feeling Great for Monsters and Kids
Bread and Jam for Francis (helping picky eaters overcome their limited choices)
Russell and Lillian Hoban
Blues Clues Snack Time (enforces fruit and vegetable snacks)
Why Can’t I Eat That!
Eat This Not That – very easy visuals
Kids in the Kitchen
Whether you’re back at school or on a mission to keep your family eating right all year round, maintaining family meals and taking advantage of information we have right at our fingertips is a great place to start!
Here’s to a great academic year ahead! >