child obesity, clean eating, family, health

Eating Clean with Children

Question of the day: What are some really good starting out eating clean recipes for toddlers and family of 4?
Clean Eating is not as daunting or difficult as it may seem. In fact, once you start living this life style and slowly changing your eating, clean eating helps to simplify your meal time!
basket Now remember – clean eating has many definitions depending on who you ask. To me it simply means: To eat from the Earth. But can it really be that simple while still pleasing a family of 4?
Yes. But transition slowly. Introduce new foods at every meal, and help your family become educated about their food choices. By showing them hard facts about the ever so “popular” foods they are used to consuming they will start to appreciate the simplistic foods we all often forget about. Like carrots, beets, baby spinach and beans.
When a person wants to start eating clean, the first piece of advice I give them is to make sure you have enough information. Read and research until you are blue in the face! This will help anyone understand that Eating Clean is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. It’s not about deprivation, counting calories or having cheat days. Clean Eating changes the way you look at food, and helps you to understand that healthy, wholesome food is as much of a necessity in our life as the air we breath and the water we drink. dietYou can read my entire Clean Eating Philosophy here.
I love Tosca Reno’s books. They are much more than cookbooks; they are a guide to help this journey be painless and enjoyable! She describes the foods we should be eating and the poisons we need to be eliminating. You will be surprised at how easy the recipes are, how delicious they can taste and how simple this way of life is.
Kids can be the worst critiques, though. Believe me, I know first hand! A few simple moves can warm your children to the idea of no more fast food and (gasp) more veggies!

  • Get them involved. Help them create the grocery list or give them a few items of their own to shop for. Children love to help! and the more they are involved the better they will be willing to accept something new.
  • Inspire the “little chef” inside of them. Look through cook books, have your child pick a recipe, then get cooking! You will be surprised at what your child really does or doesn’t like as far as food. When they make choices and decisions that shows them you have trust in them, and they will feel proud that they were able to help feed the entire family.

I hope these small suggestions help your new journey to eat healthier! I wish you the best of luck and years full of good eats!


child obesity, family, health

Treats for good behavior – are you doing more harm than good?

What is wrong with this picture?

I was watching an episode of Supper Nanny (props to Jo Jo!) and I saw a family giving junk food as rewards. Pringles, cookies, candy… while washing it down with sugar loaded drinks. While this may seem to be the best way to reward good behavior, what are you really teaching in the long run?
That every time they do something good they can have free sugar or junk food? That goes hand in hand with the trend in today’s society. Get a promotion at work – go out to dinner. Good grades – ice cream after school. See the trend and relation? And with excessive TV watching, video game playing and computer surfing, families just are not as active as they could and used to be.
Look, I am not one to say rewards are not in order for achieving goals but I really believe that the type of “reward” should be changed. We as parents and adults need to put the lives of those that rely on us first more often, and to really think before doing.

The child obesity rate is soaring higher and higher as every year passes. Are you, as the parent, contributing to this? Want to change this? Lead by example – eat foods that are healthy and nutritious but keep them fun for the kids. Kids want to do everything that their parents do; you are their role models!

A snack here or there is not making the obesity rate rise. It’s the constant eating of fast food, white bread, sugar, soda, fried potato chips, and endless hours in front of the TV or computer that is causing this drastic rise. If the snacks not in the house kids will not be as likely to be picky about the foods that ARE, or SHOULD BE, in the house.

And do not give in to their cleverly timed tantrums. They know you will eventually break down and give in to quiet them down and for them to be “happy”. Kids will not starve and will eventually eat what they are given to them. You are not being mean or hurtful, you are teaching them that proper nutrition and good health is vital.

Parents: do your part in making your child healthy and give them the tools for them to grow into active and normal weight adults. You have the power to make the child obesity rate lower.

awareness, child obesity, mommy series

Mommy Series: Getting your children to eat healthy!

 child obesity
It comes to no surprise that I am very concerned with the child obesity rate in the USA. As an over weight child, I do not wish on my child what I had to go through: teasing, torturing, knowing that I was “different”.
With the obesity rate growing every year, Americans are in a downward spiral with no end in sight. That’s why it is so important for parents to do their very best in showing their children to eat and stay healthy. Prevention is the only way to put a stop to obesity.
Children are overwhelmed with advertising and marketing showing funny cartoon characters having a great time while chowing down some sugar coated food item. Cereal, snacks, candy… they are on every channel from morning until night. The neighbor kid, Johnny, has a pantry full of fruit roll ups, pop tarts, cereal, and your child comes home from playing begging for these exact items. What to do?
Here are some tips that I believe are the foundation to teaching our youth the importance to eating well, AND enjoying it at the same time!
  • Teach your children which foods are healthy–and why. But remember: make it fun and exciting! Buy a food pyramid or print one online and teach talk to them about it. Even make fake food cut outs or words and have them place the food item into the correct category.

  • Do not deprive them of “junk food”. This will only lead to discouragement, anger and jealousy. If your children eats healthy on a daily basis, a snack here or there will not hurt them. But be careful and do not let the junk food become a reward for good behavior. Bad habits can start this way when they start to EXPECT it.

  • Have your children help with the grocery list. Ask them to look in the fridge to see what you are low or out of. If they are old enough to write then have them print the list for you. Also ask them what kinds of foods they are wanting – the answers may be surprising!

  • Take them shopping with you for groceries. If your store has those child size carts, let them push it. Ask them to grab items, teaching them what it is and explaining why it’s important to eat it. If they ask for a certain food, interact with them by asking they think it’s a healthy food or not.

  • Be their role model and lead by example. It’s very hard for your child to see you drink soda and eat chips when you tell them to eat their broccoli. If you do not have healthy eating habits then how do you expect your children to have them?

  • Eat together as a family. Sit down, enjoy each others company and talk about your day. Do not make special foods for your children while you eat something different, unless of course there is a medical reason. There is no reason for your child to have something different from you.

  • Make food fun and exciting to eat! Incorporate lots of different items that add color and variety to their plate. Rule of thumb: presentation is just as important as taste.

  • Get them cooking with you. Have your children pick a recipe and have them make it with you. They will not only have fun but they will want to eat it! Teach them basic cooking skills so they can chime in and help whenever they feel like it. Always make your kitchen open to them.

  • Be aware that your kids may not like certain foods. Do not FORCE them to eat it as this only leads to disaster. Instead ask them why they don’t like it: taste, texture, temperature, etc. Try again at a different date and see if they will try it. Do not get frustrated and remember that you, as a parent, do not like certain foods, too. Everyone has their own taste and children’s palates are very different from ours.

  • Stay focused and do not give up. There will be bad times and good times – embrace the good times and learn form the bad. 

    child obesity, clean eating, faq, health, top posts, weight loss

    Top Posts & Health Articles

    Here is an accumulation of my health articles and top posts. If you have a suggestion of a recent post or ideas for upcoming posts, please let me know! Still looking for something? Try my ever growing FAQ page.
    My Clean Eating Philosophy
    How to start Eating Clean, even for children!
    Question answered: “Do you get bored eating so healthy?”
    7 common foods you should be avoiding
    Getting your children to eat healthy
    Question answered: Are you vegan? Or do you eat clean?
    Snacks: Movie Time Alternatives
    Veggie Tales: A look at store bought veggie burgers
    Taking my vitamins
    A look into Bee Pollen
    5 foods I try to consume on a weekly basis
    Lighten up and be food smart for 2010
    Food Inc.
    Needle and Thread – My love for sewing
    Power of love – my ability to create!
    Food treats for good behavior? Are you doing more harm than good?
    The power of love – February 2010
    Breast Feeding – the good and bad
    Seattle VegFest 2010
    Weight loss: Gain control and know your tools
    Gas and bloating 
    Help! I can’t have soy but want to go vegetarian!
    Building a vegan kitchen – sugar, eggs and flour

    breakfast, child obesity

    Beautiful Sunday

    What a beautiful Sunday morning! It is super sunny in Seattle today – I love Sunday’s.

    Wow – I wasn’t aware that most of you were happy to see what Jordan eats on a daily basis. I am sure you are all aware that I am a big advocate on childhood obesity and starting them at an early age to eat a well balanced diet is the best thing for them. True, kids will be picky and not like certain foods that are healthy for them but I am firm believer of leading by example. If they see you eat healthy then they will be inclined to do the same.

    This morning I started with some juice.


    Half of a large beet + spinach + 3 strawberries + 1 pear + 2 carrots + a small piece of ginger. The pear was a nice change as I always use apples. It wasn’t as sweet as it normally is.

    Then I cooked some 8 grain cereal. I actually like this a lot more than standard oats. It’s creamy, nutty and comforting.


    I topped it with PB, maple syrup, dried cranberries, pecans and flax seeds. So so yummy!

    I was just telling Marc that I have been feeling amazing on a vegan diet. No bloating, a lot of energy (besides being sick) and mentally I feel good about my choices.

    We are off to enjoy the day in the sun – have a WONDEFUL day!