- Chicken parm - 1090 calories
- Steak with gorgonzola sauce - 1310 calories
- Grilled chicken caesar - 850 calories
- Artichoke-spinach dip - 650 calories
- Fettucine Alfredo - 1220 calories
- Pizza - 470 calories
- Milkshake - 500 - 530 calories (depending on flavor)
- Grilled chicken w/fries - 400 calories
- Fettucine Alfredo - 800 calories
I like the idea of Lydia eating lots of different foods. She already eats whatever we are having for dinner (perhaps with a few modifications to the texture and flavor). I would never want to tell control her food as I believe food is meant to be enjoyed (as we gain important nutrients), but knowing that well-established restaurants create menus that do very little to promote healthy-eating in young children is scary. No wonder we have such a horrible obesity epidemic in this country! From what I heard on a show on the Food Network, our generation will be the first to have a longer life span than the offspring's generation. Much of that is because of the sedentary lifestyles so many children experience and the horrible food choices that people make for their children.
So what can we do to promote healthy, active lifestyles and choices for our children? Here's what I plan to do:
1. Practice what I preach. If I tell my child that watermelon is a good snack and I sit on the couch eating a bag of chips, how do I get her to buy in to what I am saying?
2. Model healthy activities. Swimming, taking walks, playing on the beach. There's no reason to spend a weekend sitting at home playing video games.
3. Show your children where food comes from. I think I stated it in a previous post, but I want Lydia to know where her food comes from, that people and animals work hard to get fresh food to the grocery store. Children will learn that cheese and chicken nuggets don't just come in pretty shapes like dinosaurs and stars.
4. Cook with your children. I always loved cooking. As a child, I would watch The Frugal Gourmet on PBS. I was amazed at all of the delicious-looking food Jeff Smith was able to prepare. I started writing little recipes in a notebook when I was probably no more than 7 or 8 years old. I remember that I asked my mom to make mashed potatoes and cover them with vegetables, like carrots, peas, and green beans, then bake it to get some sort of crust on top.
5. Keep healthy food in your house. I know this one is pretty obvious, but if you keep crap in your house, your kids will eat crap. If you keep healthy stuff in the house, your children will snack on healthy stuff.
6. Indulge! Children should know that you can eat ice cream and brownies and cookies and nachos - SOMETIMES. These are yummy treats that are meant to be shared and enjoyed. Treats like these aren't so special if you eat them everyday.
Anything special you do to keep your family healthy? How do you tackle the issue of your child ordering unhealthy food in a restaurant? Do you know of any good resources that grow with your child?
Tomorrow night, I am visiting a local store that is doing a presentation on healthy eating. Perhaps I can comment to my own blog post after that :-)