Today we are lucky enough to bring you Amy Rosekelley from SuperHealthyKids.com. Amy is one of our favorite food bloggers, always providing great information, tips and recipes for raising healthier kids. She is also the creator of the Super Healthy Kids Plate, which allows parents to visually reinforce food portions and types in a kid-friendly way (Sophia loves her plate :D).
Read on to learn more about Amy and how she’s raising Super Healthy Kids…
1. What prompted you to bring your healthy eating message to the web?
I went online to share my message about healthy eating because my sister and best friend is a complete computer geek. LOL. She talked me into starting a blog almost 5 years ago as a means to promote my healthy kids plates, and the blog completely consumed me and became more exciting to me than selling plates. So, while I’ve maintained both (selling plates, and blogging about recipes) I actually prefer blogging!
2. You’ve indicated that your kids have been picky eaters, but now they try most things. How do you encourage kids to venture out, & try new foods without presetting expectations? (Alex & Soph will try anything, but many times, Soph has decided she doesn’t like it, even before the spoon hits the mouth.)
My kids were super picky before I started blogging. Now they will at least taste almost anything I make. I once read that a child who is offered a variety of foods to eat over time, will be less picky. In other words, not just offering spinach 12 times in hopes that they’ll someday enjoy spinach, but also offering Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, lettuce, and all other vegetables. This variety will expand their tastes and lead them to be more adventurous and accepting. Beyond that, I truly believe parents are short sighted in this effort, or they give up too quickly. Kids tastes and attitudes change frequently, and it’s important to not get upset about it, but just to keep pressing forward.
3. Do you have any tips for encouraging kids to make healthy food choices outside the home—when we (the parents) aren’t controlling the food they eat?
Yikes! That is a tough question. I feel that if you teach kids properly, when you aren’t looking over their shoulder, they’ll choose healthy food on their own. The most important lesson here is to help kids understand how they feel when they eat healthy food. They have more energy, they can think better, they’ll grow bigger and stronger, etc. My poor 8 year old is super short for his age. He eats healthy because he really feels like it will give him the most advantage to getting stronger and smarter. Even though he understands he may never be the tall kids, he knows he can be the fastest or the strongest. This is enough to keep him on the right track!
4. One of our biggest challenges is getting healthy food when we’re super busy – when both the kids have activities and commitments. What do you recommend for on-the-go families when it comes to avoiding unhealthy foods (i.e. how not to stop at McDonalds for dinner)?
Eating healthy in a hurry can be just as quick as stopping through the drive through. Our busy nights, we make sandwich, or we throw a bag of frozen veggies into a pot of boiling pasta, and then shake parmesan and butter on top when it’s done. We do this a lot! When you are at home and busy, as long as there is healthy food available to prepare, rather than junk food, it won’t be a hard choice.
5. Do your kids cook with you ever? Or for themselves? If so, what are your/their favorite things to make?
My kids love to cook! They are carboholics, so you will find them making bread, pancakes, waffles, toast, and cookies- usually several times a week!
About Amy Rosekelley:
Amy is founder of SuperHealthyKids.com, is a mom of three and and graduated from Brigham Young University’s Health Promotion program. As a counselor with Utah’s Department of Health for ten years, she advised state employees on healthy lifestyles. SuperHealthyKids.com won the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Blog of the Month in January 2011. She lives in Lehi, UT with her family.