10 Tips to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy

10 Tips to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy

Are you looking for tips on getting your kids to eat healthier?

This question has been going around lately.

The truth is, we started our healthy routine right away. We incorporated habits we learned growing up and applied them to our family. And that’s what’s made it fairly easy for us. However, sometimes your kids learn to be picky from other kids. And sometimes they are just downright stubborn! That can be so frustrating!

A lot of factors go in to living a healthy lifestyle including good influence and routine. I’m not a health and nutrition professional, I just know that these factors have helped our family to make good choices!

farmto table

 

10 Healthy Eating Tips For Kids:

1) Avoid filing your house with junk food! This has been a huge lifesaver for us! We hardly ever buy cookies, ice cream, chips, candy, or pop. Part of it is so I don’t have the temptation and part of it is because it doesn’t usually fit in a frugal budget.

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2) Let your kids pick whatever they want from the produce aisle! You might be surprised at what they pick. When my kids feel like this is a special treat, they tend to choose lots of colorful fruits and veggies. Our middle told me that he loves broccoli. I find it so funny when he chomps a big piece of raw broccoli.

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YUM! BROCCOLI!

3) Keep plenty of healthy options easily accessible. Keep carrot sticks, celery sticks, and cucumbers available in Tupperware, along with a dip. Have smaller apples or washed grapes and berries available in a fruit bowl on the table. I even pass out little containers of peanuts or almonds to the kids.

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I just learned another momma does a lunch like this with her kiddos too! Such a fun, easy time-saver!

4) Don’t eat out too often. Dining at your favorite restaurant is a luxury, and with that, should be enjoyed like a treat. The menu will usually contain a lot of additives like fat, oil, butter, salt, and sugar. When you cook at home, you are able to cook with less additives. You can even steam cook your food to reduce the extras!

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Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash

5) Be a good example! Feed them things that you will eat also. Have spinach salad and show them all of the yummy toppings and dressings they can try from. Show your kids that you enjoy nutrition!

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Have you tried frozen grapes? You should!

6) Grow your own produce! Every mid-May our family goes to the local farmers market and pick out potatoes, green bean seeds, tomato plants, and a few other random things to grow. Once these start producing, the kids pick them off the plants and eat them right out of the garden. I mean, what’s better than a warm, juicy sun-ripened tomato right off the plant?

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Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

 

7) Teach your kids how to cook. It’s hard to let little kids do too much in the kitchen, but little helpers are great for standing up on a chair and stirring. As they get older, they are great at measuring. And when they get a little older, they are great a cutting soft foods with a butter knife. And as they get a little older yet, they start to learn how to use a microwave. Then the stove.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

8) Eat at routine meal times. This promotes our bodies to work properly and helps our bodies to stay energized. Not eating at the same time can affect your blood pressure and BMI. Here’s an article about it!

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Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash

9) Have meals together at the dinner table. Eating meals together as a family is first a great way to bond and also encourages us to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. For example, I tend to eat more unhealthy snacks/ convenient food late at night when watching T.V.  Do you do that too? (And your table doesn’t have to look this pretty to eat together!)

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

10) Explore new foods and flavors! Maybe your family will find a new favorite! Is there a new fruit, veggie, or herb in the produce section? Did you try those raw and cooked (of the ones you can try both ways)? Would a certain sauce make it taste better?

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Photo by Linh Pham on Unsplash

So there are my 10 tips to help you get your kids to eat healthier! I hope through this, you maybe found something that works for you!

For moms who are looking for ways to realistically lose weight before bikini season, here are some tips that worked for me!

Do you have any healthy eating tips to share?

 

 

5 Simple Family-Friendly Dinners (For Under $5)

5 Simple Family-Friendly Dinners (For Under $5)

Your responses on the last post, Frugal Living, were phenomenal! So, I’m extending off that with some more money saving tips (especially for those of you with families)!

Now, the grocery budget can be flexible compared to other monthly costs. So I’m going to show you a weeks worth of delicious dinners that you can make for cheap!

What makes these dinners affordable?

To make the most of your groceries, stretch it out and waste less.

  • Divide packs of meat to stretch it further
  • Have other staples always available; potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, beef/chicken bouillon cubes rice, bread, oatmeal, eggs, milk, sugar, flour….
  • We usually have a main course, starch, and a veggie
  • Drink milk (it’s filling)! It’s currently super cheap where I shop ($1.49/gallon)
  • I keep recipes simple/use main ingredients
  • We eat leftovers for lunch or the next day’s dinner
  • We turn our leftovers into a new dish

In this post, I’m going to include the cost (based on shopping at Aldi) so you can see why each recipe costs a particular amount. We won’t get too nitty-gritty. Although, I’ve add up the cost of the staple foods that I buy weekly in the meal total.

So here are your 5 simple family-friendly dinners, all for $5 and under:

 

5) Simple Mac with Tomato Sauce and Ground Beef ($4.14)

(At our house we call this “spaghetti” since it’s pretty darn close. So easy to make extras of, and is so filling! Dishes like this are what I call comfort food.)

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Costs: Elbow Mac $1.99, Tomato paste $.33/can, (1/2 lb) Ground beef sold at $2.99/lb.

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups elbow mac
  • 2 Cans of 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 12 oz. water
  • 1/2- 1 lb. ground beef (your preference)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasonings

Add these if you have:

  • Chopped Onion
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Other chopped veggies like zucchini

Step 1: Boil medium pot of water, and add a pinch of salt and 2 cups of elbow mac. Turn heat down to medium. Cook for the time indicated on box (usually 6-8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Step 2: In a separate sauce pan, add oil and saute onions and garlic. Then add ground beef to brown. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. (After it’s cooked, you may drain the fat, but I leave it for flavor if it’s not too much.) Then add mushrooms and other veggies.

Step 3: Add to the ground beef and veggie mixture, tomato paste, 12 oz. of water, Italian seasonings, and salt. Set on medium heat to simmer, and stir occasionally.

Step 4: Drain water from mac when done. Combine with sauce and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve with veggies!

 

4) Crock-Pot Ham and Bean Soup (with leftover, frozen ham, $4.76)

(This seriously has enough servings for several days for the whole family. Soups are some of my favorite leftovers, so I often make way more than necessary!)

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Cook Time: 20 minutes of prep, 6 hours in slow cooker

Serves: 10-15 servings

Cost: Dried beans $1.99, Carrots $.99, Celery $1.29, Can of diced tomatoes ($0.49)

Main Ingredients: 

  • The frozen ham broth, bones, and scraps of meat that I’ve encouraged you to freeze (Or buy a small portion of ham for this. Look for a “butt portion” or “ham shank”)
  • 32 oz. bag of dried Great Northern Beans
  • 6 Chicken flavored bouillon cubes
  • 6 Cups of water
  • 3 Large Carrots peeled, and chopped

Add if you have these: 

  • 1 Can 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • Minced Garlic
  • Pepper

Step 1: First, rinse the beans. You can add the beans to the slow cooker (with 8 total cups of water).

Or you can opt. for a quicker cooking method that requires an extra step. According to thekitchn.com, you can quick soak the beans in 1 hour; boil a pot of water (enough to cover the beans by 2 inches), cook for 1 minute, and let the beans sit for one hour with lid on. Then add to the crock.

Step 2: Add to the crock; thawed ham, broth, bones, bullion cubes, (6 cups of water if you chose to add the precooked beans), canned tomatoes, chopped onion and celery, minced garlic, pepper, and carrots. Let cook on low for 6 hours (8 if you didn’t soak the beans), then serve!

 

3) Build Your Own Baked Potato ($3.83)

Sometimes this is served solo at our house if we feel like eating lighter, when when I’m not feeling well, or as a side. The kid’s love these and get pretty excited about picking their toppings!

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Cook Time: 1 hour baking time

Serves: 1 potato = 1 serving

Cost: 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes $2.99, Imperial stick butter $0.84

Main Ingredients:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Stick butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Add if you have:

  • Sour cream
  • Or ranch dressing
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bacon bits
  • Sliced green onions

Step 1: Scrub potatoes/rinse, foil wrap individually, and bake on 450 degrees (place directly on the rack) for 1 hour.

Step 2: Prepare toppings (bacon, green onions…)

Step 3: When the hour is up, using oven mitt, squeeze potatoes to see if they are soft all the way through. Unwrap, slice and add butter, salt & pepper, and other desired toppings. Can be served with a sandwich, soup, or salad.

 

2) Creamy Rice Chicken Casserole ($2.49)

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Cook Time: 1 hour with cooking and baking

Serves: 6

Cost: Bag of white rice $1.49, Cream of chicken soup $0.49, Cream of mushroom soup $0.49

Main Ingredients: 

  • 2 Cups white rice
  • 4 Cups of water
  • 1 Chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 Chicken breast
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Minced Garlic
  • Cream chicken soup
  • Cream mushroom soup

Add if you have:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Stalk of celery
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 Cup sour cream
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Or Grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, boil 4 cups of water, then add rice and bouillon cubes. Cover with lid and turn heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Saute onions, celery, and minced garlic with oil in a skillet. Then cube up the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper to fry over medium heat in the skillet. (You want to hear the meat sizzle when you place it on the skillet). Cover with lid and toss occasionally.

Step 3: Once rice is done cooking (and is soft), add cream soups, sour cream, and cheese. Then add cooked chicken, lemon zest, grated ginger, and extra salt and pepper to the rice mixture.

Step 5: Bake the whole mixture in a greased casserole dish on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with a veggie and enjoy!

 

 

1) Sloppy Joes and Oven Baked Fries ($4.48)

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Cooking Time: 45 minutes with cooking and baking

Serves: 6

Cost:  1 Can of Tomato Paste $0.33/can, Hamburger buns $0.83, 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes $2.99

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Can of Tomato Paste
  • Hamburger Buns
  • 3-4 Russet Potatoes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Minced Garlic

Add if you have: 

  • Parmesan Cheese to fries
  • Garlic Salt to fries
  • 1/2 Onion to Sloppy Joes
  • 1/4 Cup BBQ to Sloppy Joes

 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes, oil, and season (with salt, pepper, or garlic salt and Parmesan cheese)! Place in oven for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a pan with oil, saute onion and garlic. Add your ground beef, salt, and pepper. Once those are cooked through, stir in tomato paste, and BBQ. Add a smidgen of water to thin. Let simmer till fries are done, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Spoon meat mixture onto buns and serve with fries!

 

 

 

 

All this thinking of food has legit got my stomach grumbling now!

Again, these are totally adjustable, so don’t feel like you can’t add or take away from the recipe. Work with what you have! If you need to swap out tomato paste for diced tomatoes, do it!

And that is the power of having staple foods available and cooking from scratch! I hope these 5 simple recipes take away the stress of planning dinner this week!

(Currently reading this to my sarcastic husband who is saying “Just tell them to eat Ramen!” haha)

What are some other frugal meals that your family likes?

 

 

 

 

 

5 Family Favorite Recipes

5 Family Favorite Recipes

Hey you guys! What are some of your best memories of your mom and dad at home? Were you learning how to bake cookies with Mom? Was Dad flipping pancakes on Sunday morning? Was Grandma canning or baking pies?

Those are some of my memories of my childhood. And I want my kids to have the same memories. I want them to know how to make simple recipes from scratch. My dad always said there is a nostalgia about cooking and baking.

As long as you help them along the way, every kid can have a job. Get out the step stools and chairs and pull them up to the counter. Let them see what you are making. Little kids can stir. Big kids can measure. And they can all lick the spoons.

Here are our favorite 5 recipes. One of them, has a unique special ingredient. Sshh….

  1. Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
  2. Rich Hot Cocoa
  3. Homemade Pizza
  4. Old Fashioned Pancake
  5. Lastly, Chocolate Cupcakes (with butternut squash)

 

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

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Photo Credit by Pexels User: Kaboompics // Karolina
  • 1 Whole Banana (ripe/over-ripe)
  • 3 TBS. Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Milk

Blend together in a blender and drink. Makes 1 adult or 2 kid servings. Makes a perfect breakfast for families on the go, or an easy snack. Warning: this can be really filling!

 

Rich Hot Cocoa

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog (Anna Havens)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 Granulated Sugar
  • 1 TSP. Vanilla
  • 1/4 TSP. Salt
  • 5 Cups Milk
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)
  • Marshmallows (Also, optional)

In a saucepan, add water, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk consistently, while heating over medium high about 5 minutes. Slowly add milk while still whisking till texture and color are even. Heat on medium heat about 10 minutes. For a less rich cocoa, add more milk. Pour into coffee mugs and add whipped cream or  top with marshmallows. Serves 4.

 

Homemade Pizza

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Photo Credit of Pizzas: Momma Bird Blog (Anna Havens)

This recipe was courtesy of my sister for my bridal shower years ago.

  • 1 Package Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 3 & 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 TSP. Salt
  • 2 TBS. Olive Oil
  • Cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in water. Set about 5-10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in center and slowly add half the yeast mixture. Add olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture. Knead for 10 minutes. Shape dough into ball and place in large greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to raise (45-60 minutes). Divide dough in half. Roll out to form pizza. Sprinkle with cornmeal to help pizza slide easier.

Then add sauce and top.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

 

What flavors will you create?

(The top pizza pictured had a sauce of buffalo chicken dip with extra ranch, sharp cheddar cheese, and thick cut bacon bits. The second pizza pictured is topped with tomato paste, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni.)

 

 

Old Fashioned Pancakes

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog (Anna Havens)

This recipe I found on All Recipes years ago. It is our favorite pancake. The Link is at the bottom of this page.

  • 1 & 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3 & 1/2 TSP. Baking Powder
  • 1 TSP. Salt
  • 1 TBS. Sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 TBS. Melted Butter

 

Mix all dry ingredients together, make a well. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, butter, and milk. Add the wet ingredients in the well of the dry ingredients and slowly mix until smooth. Spray a griddle or pan with nonstick spray and scoop pancake mixture with 1/4 cup measuring cup. Cook till edges are bubbly.

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Photo Credit Pixabay User: Congerdesign (As well as Featured Photo)

Now, for the finale! Chocolate Cupcakes (with butternut squash)

Here is the reason for this recipe:

We had this delicious butternut squash for dinner one night. Nothing new. Nothing crazy. Peeled, cubed, oiled pan, some butter, salt, pepper. The kids refused. So after dinner, I gave one look at the leftovers. Instant idea!

I pureed it. Then while the kids weren’t looking, I sneakily started adding ingredients to the bowl. And seriously, you guys, this was my best ever cupcake! It was moist, rich in chocolate, and it wasn’t overly sweet. It had flavor depth.

All of these cupcakes were gone the next morning! And they didn’t even have frosting! Mom Win!

Here is the recipe!!——————->>>>

Chocolate Cupcakes (with butternut squash)

  • Baked Butternut Squash Puree (About 1 & 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Stick Softened Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 3 TSP. Baking Powder
  • 1 TBS. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP. Nutmeg
  • 1 Cup Flour

If you haven’t already baked your butternut squash, here’s what you do: Peel, cube, and toss in oiled pan with butter, and salt. Bake on 400 degrees for an hour, or until soft. Let cool. Puree in blender till smooth. Or use mixer. Remove any solid pieces if any.

Once you have that ready, add to the bowl: the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg. Mix thoroughly, then add flour last. The batter will be thick.

Pour into muffin tin or cupcake liners. Top with cinnamon. Bake on 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

 

Which of these will your family try first?

 My 5-year-old son is currently begging me to go bake some more of those delicious chocolate cupcakes! When is it too soon to reveal the secret ingredient? 

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

Pancake Recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/21014/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/

Chocolate Cupcake on Pinterst Photo (resembles my recipe, photo by):

Photo by Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-cupcake-on-white-ceramic-plate-121627/