Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids

Helping children learn healthy habits is a family affair. Children learn to eat well, sleep well, and to be active from the grownups around them. Opportunities to teach children to eat well at meals and to choose fruits and vegetable each day happens every day. Moms, dads, grandparents and older children can help children learn these good habits.

Taking the healthy habits quiz can help your family see how well they are doing and find ways to be their best.

Take the healthy habits quiz to show you where things are going great and things you and your family can do to improve your health . . .

Healthy Habits Quiz

Do you and your family Yes No Sometimes
Eat meals and snacks at the same time in the same location
Eat together as a family
Plan your snacks
Plan and prepare meals at home
Plan physical activities for the family
Play together
Ensure children sleep 8 hours or more most days
Limit screen time
Provide opportunities for active play
Engage family to keep moving (to reduce time spent sitting)
Eat fruit every day
Eat vegetables ever day

Yes = 2 points                       Sometimes = 1 point                         No = 0 points


If your total score is:

20-24 points: you and your family are on the right track

13-19 points: you and your family are doing well, but have some ideas of the places you could make better

0-12 points: you and your family now have lots of suggestions to start new healthy habits

Taming tummy trouble

“I have a Tummy Ache!” every parent has heard this complaint from his or her child at one time or another. Most of the time, it is a passing bug that moves on in a few days, but when it is something more serious that is the time most families look for help.

Millions of Americans, including children struggle with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) with pain, bloating, frequent constipation or diarrhea or with more serious conditions like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

Getting help from a pediatric dietitian nutritionist who is a specialist in the nutrition needs of children can be a step in the right direction. Diets that are high in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts have been shown to improve gut function by supporting Good Gut Bugs that improve the Gut Environment and reduce inflammation. Getting to the bottom of the mystery of a stomachache can make children and families who deal with these issues feel worried and alone. It helps to work with a team with experience in caring for kids with GI issues.

Pediatric RDNs can help families and children take the steps needed to make the healthy changes needed to Tame Tummy Troubles.   The Pediatric Dietitians at can work with your child, your family, your Pediatrician to help TAME THOSE TUMMY TROUBLES.

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No Need to Hide

No need to hide.

Let’s be open and honest. We want our kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Some people would lead you to believe that “hiding” fruits and vegetables in food is one way to do this. I would suggest that this is wrongly put.

When we prepare food for our children and families we have a list of ingredients that we combine to create nutritious meals. This includes many items, fruits, vegetables, grain foods, protein foods, etc. so adding vegetables to a sauce, soup or casserole is just adding nutritious ingredients to the foods we provide to our families. Therefore “No Need to Hide”.

Your goal is to include at least five (5) one-fourth cup servings for kiddos under 5 years of age or five (5) one-half cup servings of fruits and vegetables for your school aged child. It is good to have goals and to have a plan to help you meet those goals.

Telling someone to eat more fruits and vegetables / to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetable every day is all well and good. The hard part about that is how does someone do it?

It takes thoughtfulness: give some thought to the foods the members of your family prefer. Ask them to write down their favorite foods. Ask them to write down their least favorite foods. Ask them why they like or do not like these foods. Is it the taste? Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, smoky, earthy? Is it the texture? Smooth, crunchy, mushy, slippery, chewy? Once you have this information take it and expand it. Does your child like French fried potatoes? If they like the skinny fast food kind, try the fat (steak fries) kind. Try other French fried vegetables. Try a Baked version.

It takes planning: remember Home Economics? Well if you do, you might remember that meal planning was part of the course. In our Grab and Go world, this may seem Old School, but it is one of the best tools to increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy foods your family eats.

It takes team work: Including the involved parties in the decision making improves buy in. What this means for families, is that if you include your kids in the planning, shopping, and cooking, they will be more engaged and more likely to try the food prepared as a family.

 It takes time: Rome wasn’t built in a day, meaning that building good eating habits takes time. It has been said that parents should expect to offer new and novel foods to a child up to 30 times before acceptance occurs. So do not worry, give up, give in until you have hit that number.

New Year and a New Plan for Healthy Happy Mealtime

New Year and a New Plan for Healthy Happy Mealtime

The Holidays are over and all that is left are a few uneaten cookies. And if you are like me you are thinking it is time to focus on some healthy eating.

The kids are back in school and we are getting back to our routines. THIS IS A GREAT TIME TO RENEW.

Let’s face it, kids (and grown ups) prefer a routine. We all like to know what will happen next (comforting right?) Meal routines help children focus their thoughts and energies in a good direction. So here we go:

Breakfast: whole grain cereal or toast with nut butter, fruit and milk. Sitting down with your kids for this quick meal helps start them off on the right track for their day.

Lunch: whether you pack your lunch or eat at school, planning is the key to good choices. Discuss with your child what to pack or what to pick from the menu.

After School Snacks: remember how hungry you were as a kid when you got home from school? Having fruits, vegetables with hummus, whole grain crackers and cheese or fruit and yogurt readily available will help your kid stop hunger in it’s tracks.

Dinner: eating good food together at the dinner table cannot be beat. Families who eat dinner together tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and less added sugars, salt and high fat foods.

Contact us at for more ideas on eating well in the New Year