Healthy Eating with Children

Brown and DeLine's Blog - A Little Off the Top

How many of you have made two different meals for dinner? One for you and a different one for your children? I hear this all the time. My kids won’t eat what I am eating so I feel stuck making macaroni and cheese, hot dogs or chicken nuggets.

No wonder they won’t eat what you are eating. You are their short order cook! They know that you will make their favorites if they don’t like what you are serving. Who is responsible for this?

You are as the adult.

Adults are responsible for the food and beverages being served, where the meal is served and making meal time pleasant. Children are responsible for whether or not to eat and how much.

Below are some tips that will help enable a healthier relationship between food and your children.

*Make regularly scheduled meals a family priority
*Avoid forcing children to eat. Children will eat when they are hungry
*Model the habits you want children to develop; you are their biggest role model
*Enjoy the foods you want your children to enjoy
*Create a relaxed atmosphere for meal times
*Have realistic expectations for meal time behavior

Dinner seems to be the hardest when it come to preparing healthy quick meals.

A little planning can go a long way. Try to take one night to plan out a week’s worth of dinner meals so that there is no guesswork when it comes time to cook dinner.

Keep your kitchen stocked with quick fix foods such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, frozen veggies and fruits so that you have things on hand to prepare.

Prepare multiple batches of food and freeze.

For instance, when you are cooking up lean meat for one of your dinners throw extra in and cook up and then freeze so that you already have part a meal ready for another night.

Get your whole family involved with making dinner if it is age appropriate.

Have your children set the table, pour drinks and mix ingredients.

Getting them involved will help them take ownership in the preparation and the work that went into preparing the meal.

These were some helpful tips that I presented at the first of a series of free seminars at Brown and Deline Salon, 5254 Jackson road.
Below are dates and topics of the rest of the series.

*Thursday, Feb 11, 10 a.m.: Keeping the Winter Weight Off
*Tuesday, Feb. 23 12 p.m.: Energy Drinks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
*Thursday, March 11 10 a.m.: Got the Munchies? How to Choose Healthy Snacks
*Tuesday, March 23 12 p.m.: Eating for Pregnancy & Lactation
*Thursday, April 1 10 a.m.: How to Eat to Fuel Your Sport
*Tuesday, April 13 12 p.m.: Separating the Fats: What is the Difference Between Them? *Thursday, April 22 10 a.m.: Restaurant Strategy: Ordering Wisely

Call Brown and Deline for more information: 734-996-4511

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor, She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University.

She can be reached at