Rabu, 01 Agustus 2012

New Food Trends for Kids

The food industry is always changing. It is an industry that is subject to tendencies, one that has to adjust to the wants and needs of its consumers, who on their part often dictate the direction in which the industry will go. Among the major consumers that are quite influential are children. New food trends for kids are things that can make or break companies. In the last decade, two major new food trends have emerged. These were direct effects of scientific studies and the economy.

Recent scientific studies and medical findings have encouraged a wave of healthy eating all over the world. This is the first major change of the past decade. Parents have started to buy healthy food for their homes as well as educate their children about the choices they make while at school or whenever they find themselves outside of the home.

To meet the need, companies and restaurants have began revamping their products and changing their menus. Formerly unhealthy products are turning over a healthy leaf, adding vitamins, minerals and other good things for kids in the mix. Cheerios are a good example. Similarly, many restaurants have started to feature healthy kids meals along with gluten-free and allergy conscious meals, geared towards showing their customers that they too care about their health.

Another popular movement restaurants have adopted is that of creating their meals from locally sourced ingredients or even hyper-local ingredients, which means ingredients that are produced by the restaurant. This allows the establishments to guarantee freshness, which is something customers love. However, it is also directly related to the other of the major new food trends, that which was an effect of the economy.

By sourcing local ingredients, restaurants can support local businesses. This really helps the economy during these trying times. Local ingredients also often means cheaper prices, which encourages families that have chosen to eat in to eat out more often. This also helps address the other trend of feeding children instant foods, like pancake mix, frozen pizzas, and mac and cheese, all of which aren't entirely healthy options. Due to hard economic times, some parents have taken to feeding their kids these quick easy meals that the kids themselves can prepare while parents focus on other things. Locally sourced ingredients, however, can change all that.

Selasa, 24 Juli 2012

Healthy Kids Meals

If adults have a hard time staying healthy, so do kids. Coming up with healthy kids meals so that they stay in tiptop shape is a common challenge for parents. Here are some tips which can help you come up with delicious and healthy recipes.

The first on the list is to always have a plan for the week. If your kid is just starting with his diet, make exceptions for certain days of the week. You can give your kid the regular favorites once a week, in moderate portions. For example, start the week with a healthy soup and salad for the first three days and then reward him with pizza at the end of the week. This way, he doesn't feel deprived and can still eat the foods that he constantly craves for.

Ask your kids to prepare the meal with you. Make cooking an enjoyable activity and so they differentiate the healthy and not-so-healthy foods. By letting them help prepare the meals, they appreciate food better because they cooked the food themselves.

Among the healthy kids meals, the safest is usually pasta. Kids love to eat spaghetti. The alternative you can do is to cook pasta the healthy way. Use olive oil instead of the regular oil, and use whole-grain so it's more nutritious. Replace meat with chicken or shrimp so that the pasta still tastes good. If your kid can eat pasta with purely veggies and tomato sauce, this is so much better.

For dessert, the easiest recipe you is the fruit bowl. You can never go wrong with this because it's easier to feed kids fruits rather than veggies. This is because fruits are sweeter so kids like them better. Fruit cocktail can be used minus the syrup, or use fresh fruits. Healthy combination's of apples, bananas and pineapple for example make a nutritious fruit bowl.

Kids love to eat cookies too. Replace fatty chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal is fiber and this aids in your child's digestion and metabolism. Instead of munching on chips and junk food that contain no vitamins and minerals, they could use a piece of cookie or two.

Breakfast is considered as the most important meal so it's always best to make sure that your kid eats a healthy breakfast before sending him off to school. Instead of the usual bacon and eggs, why not replace it with wheat bread and peanut butter and jelly? Kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they compliment wheat bread too. For the cereals, choose non-fat milk instead of full cream milk. Use freshly-squeezed orange juice instead of packed juices in groceries. These juices contain sugar and other preservatives so they are slightly unhealthy.

Preparing healthy kids meals need not be a tedious task for parents. In fact, this can even motivate adults to eat better and set examples for the kids. Studies have even shown that kids who are aware of their health at such a young age can help prevent smoking, drinking and using drugs.

Rabu, 04 Juli 2012

Healthy Kids and Sweet Treats

We've all heard the warnings: sugar is bad for kids, limit the sweets, buy healthy snacks......

But let's face it - kids love sweets.

And although I generally buy healthy snacks, I also tend to indulge their sweet tooth from time to time.

So now I ask - are all sweets created equal? The answer is NO.

Gummy Candies vs Ice Cream

Given a choice between gummy candies (or fruit snacks) and ice cream -the ice cream is the clear winner. Granted, it has bad stuff like fat and sugar but it also has protein from milk and possibly nuts.

The gummy candy usually translates to all sugar and sticks to teeth (read: empty calories and cavities).

Cakes, Cookies, and Donuts

Cakes, cookies, and donuts vary depending on the recipe. These can contain trans fats and tons of calories. But certain brands are fine - you just need to read the ingredient label or make them yourself. You know, in your spare time. ;) Sometimes, you can even sneak some oatmeal or bran into the recipe.

The bottom line: once you decide to offer up a sweet treat, choose the lesser evil (the more nutritious option).

Why not just let them enjoy, without worrying about nutrition?

Sometimes I do that, but usually if they are having a treat after a meal. This way, they have some good food in their bellies already.

If they come home from school starving, and in a moment of weakness, I give in to their pleas - then I prefer that they eat something with a little nutritional value like ice cream, or a (previously approved by me) muffin or cookie.

I know all of you healthy moms out there are screaming right now but my kids are very persistent. I find that this middle of the road approach works for me so I wanted to share it with you, since my children are probably not the only kids that love sugar!