Helping our children reach for healthier food choices.
Q&A with Rebecca Brady & Health Expert Kelly Cardamone
How do/did you get your kids to eat healthy?
Rebecca: Well, I’ll be the first to admit, there is no denying my mid-afternoon chocolate fix or scone with coffee. But I do believe, it’s all about balance. In the summer months, our dishes are made with fresh fruit and veg from the garden. Preparing our meals and eating together has always been a family event. I’m not sure my kids knew they were eating healthy, it’s just what we always did!
Kelly: In order to foster healthy eating habits in my kids, I MUST be a role model. Our kids eat lentils, vegetables (including spinach, kale and brussel sprouts), nuts and seeds! There is no magic fairy dust involved in getting kids to eat healthy. I try not to classify food as “good” or “bad “and instead use the term "healthier choices" or “indulgences or “treats”, as they all have their place.
Was it difficult to keep your kids away from “junk food”?
Rebecca: I’ve always just tried to cook food that was nourishing – never told my kids no they can’t have something. They grew up living in Japan and children saw broccoli and fish as delicious and completely normal! Ours just followed suit.
Kelly: The focus is to teach balance - I always explain how food fuels the body and we often talk about how it feels when they eat too many unhealthy foods. I am a firm believer that if you make something forbidden, it will increase temptation. We substitute for healthier alternatives like the Maple Magic Roasted Seeds or fresh fruit! At the end of the day natural snacks are always better then processed.
Rebecca: We all turn into adults one day and how many adults are actually eating 50% grains & whole foods? Sometimes the easiest thing to do is really leading by example!
Kelly: Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), is just that…..sad. It is filled with highly processed, high fat, high sugar food choices. According to the USDA only 11% of calories in our diet comes from whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It should be more than 50%! It is important for all of us to make better, healthier choices that we can carry forward for the rest of our lives.