Back-to-School Tips By Jodie Shield
With ninety-six percent of kids ages two to 121 not getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, it’s no wonder moms are struggling to find ways to get their kids to eat two to five cups of veggies each day. And with summer vacation and a relaxed eating schedule looming, it can be even more difficult for moms to keep their kids’ tummies full of the nutrients they need (especially veggies). Registered dietician Jodie Shield has some great tips to help parents who are looking for effective and inventive ways to get their children to eat their veggies and beat the heat this summer. With years of experience in childhood nutrition, Shield’s tips will help parents cultivate in their children a life-long love of vegetables through activities, recipes and tips that can be applied at home, while kids are away from the school routine:
- I Slaw That! Double your kids’ fun and pack a fruit and veggie slaw in their lunch box. Instead of mayo, mix Hidden Valley® Light Ranch Dressing with broccoli slaw, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds or shredded carrots, raisins and pineapple tidbits.
- Turn the Lunchroom Into a Garden Party: Ask other parents to bring in fall veggies freshly harvested from their gardens (or from a local farmers’ market). The kids can take turns sharing and tasting a cornucopia of fresh vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and zucchini. Be sure to work with the teacher to organize the details for this classroom activity.
- Keep It Crisp: When the lunch bell rings, there’s no need for a soggy sandwich or rubbery carrot sticks. To keep veggies crunchy and crisp, pack fresh vegetables such as lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in a separate container like GladWare®. Kids can tuck them between whole wheat bread slices or stuff them in a pita pocket. Or skip the chips and pick up a pre-packaged, mini-size bags of baby carrots and celery sticks. Hidden Valley® Dressings are perfect for dipping.
- A-B-C Vegetable Dip: Teach your kids the veg – talphabet! This easy snack is a fun way to get kids to eat their veggies at school. Put a variety of different veggies in GladWare® containers for their lunch. Make sure each veggie begins with a different letter of the alphabet (A for asparagus, B for broccoli, C for carrot, etc). Include serving of Hidden Valley® Ranch Dressing for dipping. See how many letters and veggies your student can identify upon returning home!
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