Plan ahead this Halloween for some healthier treats you can make for your ghouls and goblins. You will be playing the tricks this year!
Spaghetti Squash can be super intimidating to try and work with, but its so yummy and good for you! See our tips, tricks and safety information below so you can incorporate this veggie into your diet.
Intimidated by how difficult a spaghetti squash can be to cut into? Use your microwave! Microwave your squash for about 5 minutes to soften it, this makes it easier (and safer!) to cut into.
Now that you know the microwave tip and your spaghetti squash is soft, how do you cut and deseed the squash? See our video below:
Help to promote your child’s creativity by asking them to make something with some of the spaghetti squash you saved to the side. Ask them to create a funny face, a favorite animal, or even have them use the extra squash to work on their letters and numbers.
Table Manners are as easy as 1…2…3… Learn how to set your expectations for table manners from @EatRightNutrition
Developing table manners is one of the earliest steps parents can take in teaching and modeling good behavior to their children. And, families that eat together most days of the week tend to be healthier.
Teaching table manners can start when the child is eating independently out of the high chair or old enough to sit at the table. Table manners taught in the early phases include teaching kids to not reach across the table, eat from their own plate, put a napkin in their lap and say please and thank you.
Parents are the most important role models for children and can provide ongoing positive reinforcement of good table manners at family dinners.
Having family meals is the best way to model and teach good manners, especially when introducing kids to new foods. They can be taught to politely say when they don’t like something. Also, young kids often can’t sit the whole meal, but can learn to properly dismiss themselves, rather than interrupt the meal.
In addition, never correct manners in an insulting way and explain to kids why you practice manners, such as why we chew with our mouth closed and put a napkin on our lap.
Everyone at the table should get a chance to be part of a positive conversation. Keep it lighthearted and fun and talk about positive things at the table.
Kids as young as 3 to 5 years old can get involved by learning to set the dinner table. Other important rules, of course, are no elbows on the table and in today’s electronic culture — no tech devices, phones or texting at the table!
Good table manners are about respect for the household and can highlight the pleasure of eating. It is something that everyone can do well.
Reviewed May 2018
Find the full article at eatright.org
After school snack time can be the perfect opportunity to engage with your children and allow them to debrief their school day. Making connections and staying aware of what’s happening in your child’s life are key to a great school year. Below are some tips on how to talk to your child after school.
How to Get Your Child to Talk About School
- Some kids don’t like to share information about their school day.
- The way you ask kids questions can encourage them to talk more.
- Ask specific, open-ended questions instead of questions that can be answered with yes or no.
Some kids love talking about school. With others, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to share even a few details about their day—especially if there are things going on that are upsetting them, like bullying or struggling in school.
If your child is on the quieter side or is very private, there are ways to ask questions that will open up a conversation instead of shutting one down. Here are some key concepts for starting a dialogue.
1. Ask open-ended questions. If you ask a question that can be answered with one word—yes or no—that’s what you’ll get. A one-word answer.
Example: “What was the best thing you did at school today?”
2. Start with a factual observation. Kids often have a hard time answering questions that seem to come out of the blue. Making an observation gives your child something to relate to.
Example: “I know you have a lot more kids in your class this year. What’s that like?”
3. Share something about yourself. When someone tells you about themselves, it’s natural to want to do that in return. Share something with your child and see what you get back.
Example: “We always played dodgeball at recess. What do you and your friends like to do?”
4. Avoid negative questions. If you think something isn’t going well, your questions may come out in a negative way, with emotion-packed words like sad or mean. Asking in a positive way lets your child express concerns.
Example: “I heard that you sat with new people at lunch today. What did you talk about?”
Here are other examples of how to say things differently to get your child to open up.
Afterschool Conversation Starters
|Instead of this||Try this|
|Was school fun today?||What was the best thing you did at school?|
|How was lunch?||Which kids were sitting near you at lunch?|
|Was your teacher nice?||What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?|
|Did you get your locker today?||How was it getting to your locker between classes?|
|Were the kids in your class friendly?||Who did you like talking to the most?|
|Did you get your schedule?||You got your schedule today, right? Which days look busiest?|
|Do you have friends in your classes?||Who are the kids you talk to most in your classes?|
|Did your presentation go well?||What part of the presentation do you think was best?|
Phrasing your questions this way invites your child to talk. But don’t expect for every question to result in a long, detailed answer. The goal is to have many small conversations over time. It helps to find natural moments to talk—like at dinner or riding in the car—when you’re not in a rush.
Sometimes kids, like adults, just don’t feel like talking. It’s important to know when to stop asking questions and leave it for another time. But if there’s something urgent or serious going on, you’ll have to ask direct, specific questions and push for an answer.
Full article can be found at understood.org
5 Great Reasons to Cook with Your Kids
By: Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, FAAP
When it comes to raising an adventurous eater, it is not just about coaxing kids to eat their veggies. Bringing up a child who can enjoy a cantaloupe as much as a cupcake takes patience and persistence, but it does not have to feel like a chore.
Kids may need to have frequent joyful experiences involving food to overcome the anxiety they may have around tasting the unfamiliar. Over time, cooking with your children can help build that confidence—and provide rich sensory experiences.
Here are five ways to enjoy cooking with your children while raising an adventurous eater along the way.
- Engage other senses. For a hesitant eater, tasting an unfamiliar food can sometimes be intimidating. You can help your child explore foods when cooking using other senses besides taste. This helps to build positive associations with food. Kneading dough, rinsing vegetables, and tearing lettuce all involve touching food and being comfortable with texture. The complex flavors we experience when eating food come from both taste sensations from the tongue AND smelling with the nose. While cooking with new ingredients, some children may feel too overwhelmed to taste. If this happens, you can try suggesting smelling a food first; this may provide a bridge to tasting in the future.
- Use cooking to raise smart kids. There are so many lessons that can be taught while cooking. Math concepts like counting, measurement, and fractions naturally unfold when navigating a recipe with kids. Explaining how food changes with temperature or how certain foods can help our body be healthy provide great lessons in science. While cooking with your child, practice new vocabulary as you describe how food looks, feels, and tastes. Following a recipe from start to finish helps build the skills for planning and completing projects.
- Make cooking part of the family culture. The family meal can start in the kitchen as you cook together. Family meal preparation is an opportunity to celebrate your cultural heritage by passing down recipes. Help your kids find new, seasonal recipes to add to your repertoire and family cookbook. Cooking together and prioritizing health over the convenience of processed food are great ways to lead by example and help your children buy into a culture of wellness. Building daily and seasonal traditions around cooking together helps strengthen your family’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep it safe. Teach kids the importance of staying safe while cooking by showing them how to hold kitchen tools safely, how to use oven mitts to protect hands from heat, and how to turn appliances on and off safely. Always supervise children when cooking to ensure they are sticking with safe and age-appropriate tasks. The best way to keep cooking safe is to know your child’s abilities and his or her stage of development. A four-year-old child, for example, may not be ready to sauté vegetables over a hot pan, but may have the fine motor skills to rinse fruits or tear salad leaves. Keeping safety in mind, it is not difficult to get kids—even toddlers—involved in the kitchen.
- Ask for input. Children feel more included in mealtime when they are asked to be a part of meal preparation. Collaborate with your kids when selecting recipes for main dishes or sides. Let them help you make the shopping list and find groceries in the store or farmers market. When cooking together, let children offer a critique of the foods you are preparing. Together you can decide what ingredients you should add to enhance the flavor. Talk about how people enjoy different tastes, and share your preferences with each other. Letting children be “in charge” of details like how to set the table will help them feel invested in mealtime.
Over many years, cooking as a family will help develop a happy, adventurous eater with some pretty valuable life skills—and plenty of happy memories in the kitchen. With enough practice, your child will someday be able to cook YOU a delicious meal!
From the American Academy of Pediatrics, see full article here.