Tag Archives: nutrition

Quiet Kits: Healthy and Unhealthy Foods Sort

I have been busy creating some new quiet kits for my almost 4 year old little girl. Our kits have evolved right along with my Boo. As she is getting older and has a longer attention span, I am able to pull more independent activities (versus how am I going to entertain my child so she can actually SIT for 30 minutes!!!)
I saw a great pocket folder set at Really Good Stuff. Like many of you, I can’t spend enough time thumbing through teacher magazines and I can spend plenty of money on teaching supplies! I saw this and knew immediately that I would embark on a DIY version and incorporate that into our latest quiet kits!

The Basics:

  • a pocket folder, I have parent/teacher communication folders that I LOVE (because they have clear plastic pockets.. including a clear pocket on the cover!)
Sunday Sorts: Unhealthy and Healthy Foods

  • Cover… because we all know an educational experience is never complete without looking cute 🙂 

  • Sorting cards and labels. The child sorts the food cards into two categories- healthy and unhealthy. This is simple, can be done as an independent quiet activity for an older child or a teaching activity for a younger child. My darling energetic preschooler will sit and do this sort twice! It’s a winner around here!!
This sort would be a perfect fit for units on nutrition, health, and taking care of our bodies. It can spark conversations on the importance of eating right and the consequences of our food choices.
The images in this sort were mainly found from google images. And the great copyright follower that I am forgot to write down where I grabbed the pics. For that reason I ask that you use this sort (and other sorts to be posted in the future) for home/classroom use only.
I hope this helps your little ones learn more about those healthy food choices!

A Dollar Store Tip to Get Your Kids Eating

For the past 6 months my husband and I have been struggling to get my daughter to eat. I researched some tips (posted here). One tip was to use fun dishes to spice up meal time (and capture your child’s attention and interest long enough to eat!) Rather then spending a lot of money on children dishes, I went to one of my favorite places… the dollar store. I was able to find 2 and 3 compartment trays which has worked SO well for us!

As funny as this sounds, I love these trays because they keep my daughter’s food organized! She can see that she has 2 or 3 separate foods to eat, and she knows that she needs to eat three bites of each of the foods served. It also is a reminder to me to serve more than just the main dish. And they are great when you have dippy foods and sauces- for example: one compartment for chips, the other for the cheese!

Kid Friendly Recipes

Do you create a weekly/monthly menu for your family? I find the months that I take the time to write a menu, I am not struggling at mealtime about what we are going to eat! Believe me, mealtimes have enough battles with my two year old! We have struggled over not eating to the point that I pulled out my dusty baby books and went online searching for some helpful ideas. I learned a lot about this age and that it is very normal for kids to go from being good eaters to not wanting to eat a thing! But I also got some great advice- like avoiding time outs for not eating (we were super guilty of that! and that led to such negative meal times!), setting limits like one bite per age of all the different foods at the table, and offering a variety of foods. I knew what I had to do- I had to create a breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner calendar. Our daily meals are entirely planned on my Google calendar (with a great deal of flexibility of course) to ensure that we are eating healthy and that I am providing my daughter with a variety during her meal times (I guess spaghetti every day COULD get old after awhile!)
Here are some recipes that I found that fit the kid-friendly standard- some I have tried, some are on the menu in the near future:

Mini Pizzas for Kids
Ingredients

  • refrigerated biscuits…the cheapest you can find

  • tomato sauce

  • grated cheddar, mozzarella or other pizza cheese desired

  • meat topping if desired such as pepperoni

Directions
Flatten raw biscuit slightly with hand.
Using a spoon, spread tomato sauce over top of biscuit.

Cover with grated cheese, meat, or other desired toppings. Bake in 350° oven for about 10 minutes, or until biscuits are baked through.

Easy Hummus Dip Recipe

  • 15-oz can of chick peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (optional)

Place first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Serve in bowl, sprinkled with paprika.
Several Servings (about 1 1/2 cups)

Fruit Tart
Ingredients
• 1 pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
• 1 8-oz. block cream cheese
• 1 tsp. vanilla or lemon flavoring, or whatever liqueur I have that matches one of the fruits I’m using
• Zest of one lemon or lime
• 1 Tbs. lemon or lime juice
• 1 C. orange marmalade, apple or apricot jam
• 2 Tbs. water
• Sliced fruit (whatever is on hand):
• kiwi, strawberries grapes, blueberries,a Granny Smith or Gala apple, a tangerine, and/or a banana

Directions: Roll out sugar cookie dough and place on a cookie sheet or a pizza pan depending on desired shape. I use a tart pan. For a more rustic look, I just put the dough on the cookie sheet and turn up the edges of the dough slightly. Bake dough according to the directions on the package. Mix together cream cheese and flavoring/liqueur, and then spread the mixture onto the baked, cooled cookie dough. Arrange sliced fruit on top of cream cheese. Combine marmalade or jam, tart citrus juice and water in a small saucepan and heat until marmalade/jam is melted. Pour over tart and chill. Slice and serve.

Easy Enchiladas

Ingredients

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cut into strips

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 (5.5 ounce) package red beans & rice mix

10 (8 inch) flour tortillas

Directions:

In a large skillet, prepare rice and beans according to package directions. Meanwhile, in another large skillet, saute chicken until cooked through (meat is no longer pink), about 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat. Drain saute oil/grease from skillet. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender. Add seasoning according to package directions. Cook all together, stirring often, until potatoes are done. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Take a tortilla. Place some of the chicken/potato mixture and some of the beans and rice (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup total filling) onto the tortilla, add a little cheese to taste, and roll up. Place rolled tortilla in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Repeat with other tortillas until dish is full. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Party in your Tummy

Do you have a pIcky eater? Try this video out- my tot loves it…

I was able to convince her to eat better with this tactic. I would just tell her that the the food item really wants to go to the party in her tummy. Lately, however, her response has been…
“No, party in MOMMY’s tummy.”

October’s Menu

Thanks to the Menu Planning Made Simple Post, I created our whole monthly menu in a snap!I wasn’t going to plan anything for Wednesdays, since it is the “Wild Card” day- but then I thought we should have a back-up plan just in case I am stumped about what to make! And you might have noticed that I added pediasure to our dinner on the 31st- between trick-or-treating and birthday cake I know my little one will need some nutrition!!!
Enjoy!
Happy….Eating! 🙂

Food Group Fun

There are some simple, easy resources to teach your little one about the 5 food groups! I struggled at first to come up with some ideas- but I think I have come up with a well-rounded list:

  1. see ’em. Why not see where the fruits and vegetables come from by visiting a garden? It will make a lot more sense when trying to explain that vegetables grow in the ground and fruit grows in the trees if they have seen it with their own two eyes.
  2. serve ’em. Make sure, if possible, that you have a variety of foods (in the food group you are learning about) available at home for your little one to try. Eating food can be just the ticket to make the food groups fun!
  3. read about ’em. There are tons of great books out there that will teach your kiddos about the food groups and proper nutrition.
  4. sing ’em. There are a couple sites with some food group songs: Food Guide Pyramid and CanTeach
  5. wear ’em. I am not talking about a food fight. How fun would it be to have 6 little kiddos wearing paper bag vests filled with a variety of foods from the food group (cut from grocery ads) that they glued themselves? Or have one kid be the veggies, one be the fruit,etc. Just an idea!
  6. sort ’em. Take out your plastic food and put them to use by doing a food sort. I used these cards and they worked great (see the do it yourself section down below to download). If you don’t have plastic foods, just print pics of the foods or download a second set of cards to match.

Here are the sorting cards for the food groups from this great site. They have some great downloads.

There are some food pyramid coloring sheets from the Produce for Better Health Foundation. There are some arts and crafts ideas using the food groups from Everything Preschool. Check out the nutrition page on our site’s wiki for more ideas!


Happy Teaching!

Working on our Healthy Menu

I searched and searched for a good nutritious toddler menu that would require little cooking! I was happy to come across this site that offered a very simple meal idea.

For breakfast:

  • 1/3 cup cooked cereal
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 slice toast with 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 4 ounces whole milk

For a morning snack:

  • 2 graham crackers
  • 4 ounces fruit juice

For lunch:

  • 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • 2 tablespoons cooked broccoli
  • 1/4 cup melon
  • 4 ounces whole milk

For an afternoon snack:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 muffin

For dinner:

  • 1-1/2 ounces chopped chicken
  • 2 tablespoons peas
  • 2 tablespoons baked potato with 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 slice whole wheat bread
  • 4 ounces whole milk

For a snack:

  • 1/2 cup canned fruit
  • 1/2 ounce cheese
  • 2 or 3 whole grain crackers

We tried it out yesterday and today (as best as we could spending the day at a campsite with family) and I am very pleased with it! It is simple, something I could tweak here and there, but it gives me that meal planning framework. My daughter won’t eat ALL of that food yet- but I am offering it to her and have already noticed a small increase in how much she is eating at the scheduled times and I am not being begged for crackers all day. I know she appreciates the wider variety of foods she gets during meal time. I want to write a weekly schedule similar to this one that offers that variety and yet can give me a shopping list every week!
Let’s hope this plan lasts! 🙂
Happy Teaching!

August Curriculum Calendar (I’m A Fit Kid)

Here it is… the calendar for our now busy month of August. It actually looks a lot more busy than it will be… with some simple work on nutrition throughout the week, daily movement activities, and some simple tidying up (mostly on my end) I think this month will be a lot of fun! Don’t let the calendar overwhelm you!!I can’t even tell you how excited I am to incorporate more physical fitness and nutrition into our lives… And I know that the physical activities will be SO much fun for my Boo! 🙂 So let’s put those chips and french fries down and have some good healthy fun during August!!
Happy Playing!

Don’t forget to check out some of these great nutrition links:
wiki
gerber nutrition
nutrition exploration
BAM!

Creating a healthy menu links:
wholesome foods toddler weekly menu
baby chaser weekly toddler menu
keep kids healthy
sample toddler menu

Decluttering links:
18 5-minute decluttering tips
top 20 decluttering and organizing posts
how to declutter

I’m a Fit Kid

So our healthy adventures begin today! I have a few goals I would like to accomplish during our month of fitness:

  1. MISSION NUTRITION come up with a weekly meal plan that INCLUDES healthy snacks, lots of H2O, and is properly balanced.
  2. GROOVE & MOVE do a different movement activity every day for at least 30 minutes- this is to expose my Boo to a variety of fun activities as well as teach her some large motor skills
  3. TIDY UP! declutter, organize, schedule,…. clean up our routine as well as our home! i plan on implementing a basic chore system as well

In honor of our FIT KID month- check out this song available for download at dole5aday.com:
I’m a Fit Kid

Letter Day Preview- Nn (nature and nutrition)

N is for nifty, neat, and nice- three words that described our day!
For N day we went on a nature walk. I thought of bringing along a checklist on a clipboard(i am SO a clipboard person- I used them in my second grade class all the time) The checklist consisted of handwritten pics of rocks, bugs, trees, flowers, water, and leaves (6 things I knew we would find). Had I thought about it earlier I would have made one on the computer- maybe next time! Luckily for my daughter we found everything on our list in the first 5 minutes of our nature walk (she must not be a clipboard person like her momma!) What I loved about having the checklist- she remembered more when we reviewed everything we saw during our walk. Her favorite part of the adventure? These enormous dandelions. She just laughed and laughed as they tickled her chin!


What is a letter day with out food? We ate nachos- yummy for me , little Boo didn’t like the cheese on the chips. She requested plain chips instead.

We went to the Nickel-cade for a fun activity. Not my favorite place- but we had a 1.00 in nickels to spend riding on the little carousel and cars. Boo had fun putting the nickels in the slots- this place is just so germy though that we immediately de-germed after playing there!

I worked on a nutrition chart for my Boo. This is something that is extremely important to me since I am not a good eater myself. I wanted something that she could participate in and would be a constant reminder of what foods we are lacking in our healthy diet.
I plan on putting this chart where we can see it often. The plan is to have Boo add square markers to the graph for each serving she eats from the different groups. We’ll see how it goes….

Check out these addition resources on nutrition:
Wholesome Toddler Food
Little People’s Plates (loved this site- there are some really cute pdf’s to print to track your toddler’s eating
The ABC’s of Teaching Nutrition to your Kids

Hope these sites help…. I have no idea what we are doing for O day….ideas?
Happy Teaching!

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