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Health: How to Make Healthy Eating Yummy and Fun

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We like food around here, particularly healthy food. We also recognize that making food that tastes good, is also healthy and is something that even the pickiest young eater will eat and is relatively easy to fix can be difficult. That's why we made healthy, fun, yummy food the topic of conversation at a recent MomItForward Twitter Girls' Night Out (#gno) party, sponsored by the National Dairy Council. You'd be surprised at the tips offered for making healthy eating fun and yummy, both for kids and adults. Some of them are common sense. Some of them are not.

Top Ten Tweet Tips for Making Healthy Eating Fun and Yummy

  1. Keep junk food out. This seems inherently obvious, but can be the most difficult to do, not only because of the kids' tastes but the parents' as well. However, if there are unhealthy options in the house, those are the ones we all want to go to first. Tweeters agreed wholeheartedly that keeping the junk food out is the best way to cut down on calories.
  2. Involve the kids in the food prep process. As @KimFoodTalk says, "Involvement is key." This can mean anything from letting younger kids help with measuring and stirring, to letting older kids choose or even find the recipes they'd like to eat.
  3. Lead by example. You cannot tell your kids to eat healthy while chugging diet soda, unfortunately.
  4. Talk with an administrator at your kids' school(s) about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which is "a set of long-term health and wellness solutions in schools to encourage physical activity and good nutrition," according to @JenniPurcellRD. It is sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League. More than 70,000 schools are already enrolled. You can find out if your schools enrolled here, says @INDairy.
  5. Dip away. Dips make everything more palatable, and can add to, rather than take away from, the nutritional value of many things. Try mixing Nutella with greek yogurt, for instance, suggests @LizKelsay. Greek yogurt has more protein, less sodium, less carbohydrates, and is easier to digest and creamier than regular yogurt, according to LiveStrong.com.
  6. Walk to the grocery store. Many of us might balk at this, but a surprising number of our tweeters say they do this. Not only does it burn calories, and reduce auto emissions, but it also makes it easy not to buy any extra non-necessities. @Mom4EverEver says her walk is just under two miles there and back.
  7. Look at food from the back end. Explore where food comes from by either planting a garden, buying from a farmers market, or even joining a food co-op. @CoreyAnnKhan says, "Backyard gardens are easy! Even in urban areas!"
  8. Call it something else. For us, calling broccoli "trees" and pretending like we were giants while we ate it worked really well to get our kids to eat it initially. They continue to eat it because they like the taste, especially when I serve it with a pinch of garlic salt or dried cranberries and sesame seeds, and they know it strengthens their bones, helps them digest better, and get sick less.
  9. Make a specific plan. Everyone's different, but for many, including @HoosierHomemade, making a menu plan for the whole upcoming week or month cuts down on trips to McDonald's and impulse buying. That's why we at MomItForward offer a weekly meal plan. Once the plan is made and supplies bought, you've got more time for fun!
  10. Mix up the order. @EmmaSamuelsRD says she serves fruits and veggies before other components of meals and snacks so her kids "get the goods!"

Eating healthier and yummier can be done and can be fun. Let us know what's worked for you!

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

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