Healthy Kitchen Starts With Fresh Foods In The Cupboards
Healthy family meals start with having fresh foods from each of the food groups in the kitchen. But if you cupboard is filled with a lot of snack and convenience foods, healthy foods may be shoved to the back.
A healthy kitchen may mean it is time to clean out the kitchen, that means cabinets, drawers and the refrigerator. Keep your healthy fresh foods front and center so they are the first foods your family sees. Color your refrigerator means lots of fruits and vegetables!
Reorganizing your cupboards and refrigerator is a perfect time to help kids learn about the foods that are the healthiest and should be given the best shelf space¡ Have the kids help you with this one.
This can be a fun scavenger hunt game that the kids will enjoy. Send them to look and retrieve all packaged goods (also called 'processed foods'). The kids can create a chart and get a star for each packaged food and ready-to-go snacks they find in your food closet.
Another idea is have them guess a number of packaged foods and snacks they will find and write it down. After they have all been found, have the kids count them and see who came the closest to the exact number! Breakfast or energy bars (e.g. chewy granola bars), potato chips, veggie booties, crackers (e.g. cheezy crackers), soda, and energy drinks may be taking up more room than you think. These snacks and drinks are empty calories – meaning they only provide calories from simple carbohydrates and no nutrition. These are snack foods you want to teach your family are 'once in a while' treats.
Teaching your child that some snacks, especially snacks found in packages, should be eating only once in a while because they tend to be high in sugar and fat. We don't want these foods replacing the important food groups that your child needs to grow, develop strong bones and a healthy body that can fight off diseases.
Written by Anne Kolker
Written on Mar 06, 2011
Last updated on Mar 18, 2013