Getting to Know Food

"I Made It Myself!"
With some assistance and the right ingredients, kids can concoct delicious and nutritious fare. Here's how.

Juice pops: Help children pour 100 percent fruit juice into plastic ice-pop molds. Cover and freeze.

Fruit yogurt crunch: Children measure out a teaspoon of their favorite jam or jelly and mix with 4 ounces plain yogurt and some crunchy breakfast cereal.

Potato chips: Wash and cut a small white or sweet potato into thin slices and place in a bowl. Children measure a teaspoon of vegetable oil, pour it over the potatoes, and stir to coat. Kids put the potato chips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Parents place the cookie sheet in a 400°F oven for ten minutes; remove when potatoes are tender. Let them sufficiently cool before serving to children.

Snack chips: Older children can use scissors to cut pita bread or tortillas into wedges. Parents place wedges in a toaster oven. Kids can press the "toast" button. Toast lightly and let cool sufficiently. Use for dipping in hummus, peanut butter, or yogurt-based dips.

Ice cream sandwiches: Kids pile 2 tablespoons of slightly softened frozen yogurt or ice cream onto a honey or chocolate graham cracker square, and top with another square. Place in freezer to harden, and enjoy.

Tartar sauce: Have kids measure out a cup of mayonnaise and place into a medium bowl, then add an equal amount of relish, and stir. Serve with fish sticks.

Bean burrito: Children spoon refried beans onto flat tortillas, top with chopped tomato or salsa and grated cheese, roll up, and place in small baking pan. Adults place the pan in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes, and cool sufficiently.

Personal pizza: Kids top a prepared personal size pizza crust or small tortilla with tomato sauce, grated cheese, and chopped vegetables, then place it on a baking sheet. An adult puts the baking sheet in a 400°F oven for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Cool, then enjoy.

Healthy Reading for Kids
Reading to your child promotes her language skills. Plus, kids love hearing the sound of your voice and spending special time with you when reading is the activity. Any of the following books are appropriate for babyhood and beyond.

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Random House, 1985)

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (Viking Press, 1948)

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban (Scholastic Books, 1964)

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989)

Family Dinner by Jane Culter (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1991)

Joseph and Nellie, by Bijou Le Tord (Bradbury Press, 1986)

A Kid's Book About Healthy Bones by the Medical Information Group (Medical Information Group, 1997)

The Milkmakers by Gail Gibbons (Macmillan Inc., 1985)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Philomel Books, 1983)

Copyright © 2002 by Elizabeth M. Ward. Excerpted from Healthy Foods, Healthy Kids with permission of its publisher, Adams Media Corporation.

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