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Rosemary Nardone, CHHP, RM

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor

How would you like to get your kids to eat healthy?  Why is it so difficult?

Kids are not eating well today. 

Some surprising facts as of 2005 are:


1 out of 3 American children between the ages 6 and 12 are overweight and l5% of all U.S. children are obese.


Despite skyrocketing childhood obesity rate, many high calorie , low nutrition foods are still being sold in our school.


French fries and soft drinks are being fed to infants as young as 6 months old.

As a Nutritional Health Counselor, I can offer solutions and suggestions to help solve this problem and guide you and your children to make better food choices. 

Childhood obesity has several major causes.  Inactivity in the form of exercise , drinking sugared drinks and juice , eating refined sugar and junk foods  Sadly, overweight children are more likely to suffer low self-esteem and depression because of their weight as well as being at risk for health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

It is important to note that even if a parent is faced with an overweight child,  children should never be placed on an overly-restrictive diet or not be  allowed to eat when hungry.  A child needs nutrients and calories for growth and development. The key is to make sure these calories come from whole foods -not PROCESSED FOODS. 

The challenge to get your kids to eat healthy can be broken down into several steps:  

  1. Educating your kids from and early age. 

   Take them to the supermarket and point out healthy foods.

    I use the following 7 Colors of Health in my practice when working with children.  This really captures their interest and comprehension, enabling them to make better choices when out their  environment such  as school, etc.  It is difficult when they see cereal boxes designed to sell food loaded with sugar, salt and preservatives but with the cute labeling on  which manufacturers spend billions to sell their products.  Instead point out:

        RED:  tomatoes, pasta sauce, juice, pink grapefruit, watermelon

        RED-PURPLE:  grapes, grape uice, red peppers, plums, cherries, cranberries, raisins apples, blueberries, strawberries

        ORANGE:  pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, mangoes, , cantaloupes

        ORANGE-YELLOW:  oranges, orange juice, tangerines, peaches, grapefruit, lemons, papayas, pineapples

        YELLOW-GREEN:  peas, green beans, spinach, green peppers, yellow peppers, cucumber, avocados greens, kiwi

        GREEN:  broccoli, leafy lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage

        WHITE-GREEN:  garlic, onions, celery, asparagus, pears, endive, muishrooms, chives. 

 It was once said we should compare our  dinner plate to a box of crayons or rainbow.  If plates are  as colorful  and attractive, kids will gravitate and enjoy what they are eating as well as getting the right nutrition or feeling  deprived.  

2.      Control inside the home.

    It is easier to take charge at home by not keeping unhealthy food around.  This prevents the power struggle that occurs when we tell our kids they canít have that piece of candy or whatever.  When food is a power struggle, it can lead to long-term negative effects like hoarding and sneaking or eating tons of food for fear they wonít get enough.  This is what creates eating disorders . The smart and fair approach with kids is giving them options throughout the day, structuring choices like 2 pieces of healthy  candy, letting them pick out healthy sweets  while shopping.  I have found this very powerful.  Also letting them help with cooking so they learn how to follow directions with recipes,  seeing  how ingredients are transformed into meals is a very rewarding  experience.  

3.      Last but not least, try and eat one family meal together a day. 

    With our busy lifestyles this is not always easy.  If you canít do it every day, plan to work this several times a week, make a special date so the kids have something to look forward to.

 Getting your kids to eat healthfully can feel like a continuous battle , but if you get them involved they will feel a sense of pride and you can both enjoy the process.


Additional Articles


Rosemary Nardone


Splenda, is it really Splendid?

Mother Nature's Ten Anti-Aging Herbs and Nutrients

Ten Reasons to Buy Organic

Eating for Beautiful Skin

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