Healthy Kids!

Today was my turn to bring in snacks for my daughter's 1st grade class. Plus, I volunteered this morning, so what's coming to mind today is the subject of healthy kids! Some of you may have seen my facebook post yesterday. But for those of you who didn't, it went like this:
It's my turn to provide the snack for Alethea's 1st grade class tomorrow. Her teacher said: "You'd be amazed at what happens when there are fruits & veggies available. Kids almost always go for them first...I don't think many of them usually get the chance!" So, I think it will be carrots, cinnamon apples, & veggie booty. This just affirms to me that we are born with a natural tendency to want to eat healthy foods...
So, in the spirit of celebrating our natural state of health, what are some tips that ensure that healthy children stay healthy?
1. Pack their lunches--I know it's easy (and cheap) for many folks to let their kids eat the school lunch, but have you seen what's in them? Our school has one of the healthiest lunches around according to many people's standards...yet I found very little nutritional value in them, aside from the paltry gram of fiber that was to be found in the iceberg lettuce and little bit of vitamin C in one orange wedge.
2. Make exercising a fun part of every day! We often do "dance parties" at night after dinnertime. It's incredible exercise, provides great bonding, and is lots of fun. And, no, you don't have to re-wire your disco ball. All it requires is some jivin' music and a willingness to shake your veggie booty.
3. Give them the option of eating fruits and veggies daily. In fact, trick them if necessary. For example, last night I didn't say "Do you want some veggies?" I said: "Would you rather have a salad or some raw veggies?" She didn't think about it much, but devoured the carrot and celery sticks and was probably glad she got to choose (since she's been complaining about being burned out on salads lately).
4. There are tons of other tips and recipes in my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, but I'll leave you with a short list of snacks that kids seem to love (many of which are also great in lunches):
-nori strips ("spicy nori strips" are found pre-packaged in most health food stores and kids flip over them)
-soy yogurt (I love Nancy's brand--it feels so fresh and nourishing to me, unlike many other brands of soy yogurt)...I also make it fun by drizzling some natural food color over the top (especially yellow, as it's made from antioxidant-rich turmeric)
-apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with agave nectar
-nuts--even picky eaters like my kiddo like pistachios and tamari almonds
-ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins--or dried cranberries or cherries)
-fresh spring rolls (rice paper filled with carrots, lettuce, cilantro, tofu, and rice noodles) dipped in peanut sauce
-nori rolls (nori filled with rice, sesame seeds, carrots, and anything else that's healthy and kid-edible)
-whole-grain muffins (these can be jam-packed with good things like flax, fruit, ground nuts, and even finely grated veggies)
Good luck and remember--kids are developing habits for life. Let's keep assisting them to make healthy, informed choices so that they can enjoy radiant health for years to come!

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