Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

What in the Heck Are You Feeding Your Kids?!

As a teacher, not only do I work with kids and get to know their learning styles, I also work with parents and I am exposed many, many parenting styles. These parenting styles are usually blatantly obvious and are reflected--loud and clear-- in the behavior of their kids. While parenting is a mystery to us all and no one is the perfect parent, there are certainly EASY things we can to do be better parents.

One of those things is being aware of the food we're feeding our kids. I work with students diagnosed with ADHD every day. By no means do I discount this diagnosis at all-it is definitely real and debilitating to many students. However, when I see the lunch boxes of these students composed of items such as soda, cookies, gummy candy (it says 100% of Vitamin C in the label!), chips, and candy bars, it makes me rethink some of the underlying causes of "hyperactivity." My mornings also start a Starbucks located near a local high school. I see freshman and sophomores (i know they are this age since their PARENTS accompany them, driving the car) ordering double mocha venti lattes and caramel frappachinos. Am I old school?? Tell me, am I?? I didn't have my first cup of coffee until I was a out of college, working as a slave in the advertising industry until 2 in the morning! I needed a boost! What 15 year old needs a venti of anything???

My point is: Parents, use a little Educated, Common Sense Parenting-action and get yourself some good recipe ideas so you can put some healthy food in your kids. Does it take a little longer to make a healthy lunch for your kid as opposed to throwing lunchables and soda into their backpack? Maybe, if you don't plan ahead. But you're a PARENT--by Week #6 of your baby's life, you should have learned that parenting takes a little patience--so get over it. But in the meantime, here are a few healthy lunch/meal/snack options for kids aged 2-102 (and they are ALL kid-tested by my 3 year old test-chef, Brookey!):

- Wine Country: Cheese cubes, whole wheat crackers, grapes, rolled pieces of lunch meat (turkey, ham, salami)

- Asian Invasion: Teryiaki chicken pieces, brown rice, shelled soybeans (edamame)

- Little Italy: Spaghetti and turkey meatballs (use leftovers from dinner!) OR make a meat sauce with tomatoes, ground turkey or lean beef and red/green pepper and serve with pieces of french bread for dipping

- Napa Valley Meets Tuscany: Caprece salad--sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkled with salt/pepper and basil, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

- California Cusine: Grilled chicken, avocado and lettuce rolled in a whole wheat tortilla and fresh fruit

- Baja Fresh: Refried black beans, ground turkey, brown rice, cheese, mild salsa wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla OR mix refried black beans, cheese, tomatoes and low fat sour cream together, serve with low fat tortilla chips for dipping.

- Middle Eastern: Hummus (Brookey's personal fav!) and whole wheat crackers or pita chips, grilled chicken/mayo/lettuce/tomato in a pita pocket

- Pasta Salad: curly pasta mixed with fresh veggies and low fat Italian dressing

- Smoothies: Mix 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (berries are great) and 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt in the blender

- Flowers and Grass: Add a few drops of green food coloring to whipped cream cheese, top with diced red pepper, serve on whole wheat crackers

Some of my favorite resources for cooking with kids:

- First Meals by Annabel Karmel
- Deceptively Delicious by Jessican Seinfeld
- Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller
- Weelicious.com


  1. Does ketchup count as the 6th food group?

  2. I think you could either put it in fruits and veggies or the junk food group :-) It IS made from a fruit so I'd just go with that :-)

  3. My first coffee was IN college. :-) Question -- did you make your own baby food or buy the pre-made stuff in the jars? I am planning (that's the operative word) to make my own baby food and will freeze it in ice cube trays for future use. Love the different ethnic cuisines you listed. Do you have an Indian one? Tikka ....

  4. I didn't make my own with Brooke, but I **plan** (operative word) with Will. I make veggie purees all the time anyway for the Deceptively Delicious recipes, so I'll just make more :-) Def. get First Meals if you want to make your own food--she has awesome ideas plus a step by step guide on how to start, etc.

    Hmmm..Indian...I'll have to work on that. I think for older kids, a plain yogurt sauce made with mild curry powder with chicken would be totally fine.

  5. That sounds perfect -- yogurt, curry and chicken. Lord known I ate enough of it when I was pregnant ... it should be pumping through Jillian's veins. :-)