Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to get you children to eat their veggies

Anyone who has kids understands that it takes a lot of skill and a little finesse to get your kids to eat their veggies. Most kids would prefer to dine on a strict diet of sugary and processed goodness. Pleading seems in vain because they tune out when you say, "Please eat your vegetables. They're good for you." Lucky for me I had a mom who did not force food; instead she offered huge portions of veggies her kids liked and tried to sneak in things that we didn't. Learning her tricks of the trade helped me to cook balanced meals for my little brother, for kids that I've worked with, and for adults that prefer a Big Mac over a home cooked meal.

Number One Lesson- Start Early

  • Offer babies variety of baby food and toddlers a variety of veggies and entrees
  • Encourage you children to taste everything, but never force them to eat anything
  • If you kids reject something keep cooking it; it may take 15 times before they will even taste it but they can eventually acquire a taste.
  • Breast feeding for longer than 6 months seems to help prevent picky eaters
  • Make meal time fun: surprise dinner- mealtime mystery, give a squeeze- preschool tips, uncover the character- colorful spoon and stickers

Number Two Lesson- Make Veggies a Treat

  • Add a small amount of sugar to veggies
  • Add cheese to broccoli
  • Sneak veggies in foods your kids like: use recipes from Deceptively Delicious, or add fruit to cereal, yogurt and Jell-O
  • Offer fresh veggies and dip with meal
  • Let you kids help prepare meals
  • Plant a vegetable and garden together with your kids

Number Three Lesson- Become a Great Example

  • Make sure you eat fruits and veggies at every meal.
  • Stir fry veggies
  • Snack on veggies, homemade trial mix or dried fruit
  • Serve fruit salad for desert
  • Put grated carrots, and fresh or frozen spinach into spaghetti sauce
  • Cook a vegetarian dinner one night a week.

Eating healthy is just as important for kids as it is for adults. If you or a loved one is not crazy about veggies use these tips to help any old dog develop an appreciation for the veggies and all the nutritional value they have to offer. Don't give up on enjoyable and nutritious meals. With creativity and persistence your kids will learn to not only eat their veggies but will learn to like them too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!!!

photo courtesy of lusi

Hello all. I hope you enjoyed the last post, Stride Into Summer, which was about running and tips to get started. Below is a simple and easy workout for you to try. This will be a good test run; you will see how your body feels and reacts to running and you will get a sense of recovery time (both will get better; we all know after working out the first few times, especially if we haven’t worked out in awhile, soreness will set in.)

To get started you will first want to determine your Maximum Heart Rate, which is the highest number of times your heart can contract/beat in one minute. There are many ways to determine your “max” heart rate, but we use a simple method at the gym, which is
220-AGE = Max Heart Rate.

Example: 220-30 years old = 190 max contractions per min or beats per min (bpm)

Once you have your Maximum Heart Rate, you will need to calculate various percentages in order to determine the various Target Heart Rates or Intensity for your workout. Continuing with the example above, according to the workout below, during the warmup the intensity should be 50% of the “max.”

Example: 190 max contractions per min x 0.50 (50%) = 95 beats per min (bpm), so on and so forth. This means, during the 3-minute warmup, your heart rate should be 95 bpm. Now you may ask, “how do I know if my heart rate is where it should be?” This is where finding your pulse comes in.

To determine your pulse:

1. You can find your pulse on your neck or wrist, count the number of beats for 30 seconds, then multiply that number by 2; giving you the number of beats in one minute.
2. Some machines have sensors that you can grab, which will register your heart rate. This may not be the most accurate reading, but you can use it.
3. There are heart rate monitors that you can buy from Modell’s, Sports Authority, or possibly right there at your gym.

Put your running shoes on, you’re ready to go!!

Easy-Rider Low Impact Workout
30 minutes

Duration (minutes)DescriptionTarget Heart Rate
8elliptical trainer65%
8elliptical trainer65%
3cool down50%

I know, this is a good amount of information to take in, but don’t let it overwhelm you. If you need additional assistance or if you have any questions whatsoever, please leave them in the comment area or email directly at, I will be more than happy to help.

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