Stress, Overeating and Kids

A new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that kids “are more likely to overeat when they are upset, especially if their parents have used food as a reward in the past. The study notes that stress eating is a learned and unnatural behavior, since stress and emotional turmoil usually reduce appetite, rather than increasing it.”

The study found that “children were much more likely to stress eat if their parents over-controlled their eating, by doing things like using food as a reward or withholding food for health reasons. According to the researchers, these practices can override children’s natural hunger instincts, instead making food into a reward or an emotional comfort.”

So, teach your children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and remind them that we eat to nourish our bodies with friends and family at the table, not because of good behavior or as a reward for anything else. For more, click here.

First Bites is a non-profit organization that runs programs in preschools and early childcare centers to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables. To learn more about the program and for more ideas on what and how to feed children, visit firstbites.org, Facebook.com/YourFirstBites or follow us on Twitter @FirstBites. 

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2/25/15

 New Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2/25/15

ou may have seen the major national news last week -  a US-government appointed scientific panel released a 600-page report that will inform America's new dietary guidelines.

What’s in: eating a more plant-based diet (good for your body & the earth), eggs, alcohol and coffee (ok in moderation)!

What’s out: red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and refined grains. 

Read More

Should You Reward Children for Eating Healthy Food?

Should You Reward Children for Eating Healthy Food?

Should You Reward Children for Eating Healthy Food?

Does this sound familiar? “You can have dessert but you have to eat your broccoli first.” OR “If you eat your broccoli, then can have more bread” And, in many cases, the child eats the broccoli and we, as parents, feel satisfied. But is this really the best way to teach our children to eat broccoli? 

Read More

Hanukah: The Perfect Time to Celebrate Veggies, Too!

Hanukah: The Perfect Time to Celebrate Veggies, Too!

Hanukah is the perfect time to introduce new veggies to your kids! Instead of traditional potato latkes, sub potatoes for sweet potatoes (or try half potatoes and half sweet potatoes!). Make a few with parsnips, carrots and/or beets. Let your children pick their own combinations and then have them rate the flavors and pick their favorites! Getting children involved and giving them an opportunity to voice an opinion is key to expanding their palate.

Read More

A Sweet Time of Year: Easy Ways to Decrease the Sugar in Your Kids Diets

A Sweet Time of Year: Easy Ways to Decrease the Sugar in Your Kids Diets

It’s cold and the holidays are upon us! Before we dive into jelly donuts and comforting chocolate cake, consider this: preschoolers should consume no more than 4 teaspoons (or 16 grams) of added sugar a day. Yet the American Heart Association found that children between the ages of one-three consume around 12 teaspoons of sugar a day and four-eight year olds consume 21 teaspoons a day. 


Click below for some easy ways to decrease the sugar in your life.

Read More

"Picky Eating" and Variety

"Picky Eating" and Variety

“Picky Eating” and Variety

One of the most common complaints we hear from parents is that their children only eat a small number of foods – they lack variety! A great way to expand your child’s palette is to encourage variety from within the range of foods they already eat. If they love ice cream, let them select a new flavor. If they love cheese, take them to the store and let them pick a new cheese – any cheese – to try. If they are big cereal eaters, let them pick a new kind and encourage them to eat different kinds of cereal every day. Encouraging variety with safe and familiar foods is a great way to get your children used to eating something new, and, ultimately, lay the foundation for expanding beyond well-liked foods.  continued >

Read More

"Picky Eating:” Making Food More Familiar

"Picky Eating:” Making Food More Familiar

"Picky Eating:” Making Food More Familiar

One of the best ways to encourage your children to expand their palates is to make food more familiar. So start with something they like, and bridge to something new. If they like potatoes, try sweet potato. If they like sweet potato, try butternut squash. If they like carrots, try parsnips. Serve these foods together – something new with and something familiar and talk about the differences – color, size, smell, shape. continued >

Read More

60+ Snack Ideas for the Preschool Classroom

60+ Snack Ideas for the Preschool Classroom

Looking for snack ideas for your child’s classroom? Download and print our snack list with 60+ healthy, nut-free snack ideas. Trying to mix it up? Consider frozen fruit! Or bring in corn cakes, instead of rice cakes! Want to make it more fun? Bring in some cinnamon and let the class sprinkle some on plain cream cheese or ricotta cheese. continued >

Read More

A New Year, A New Way To Feed Your Family

A New Year, A New Way To Feed Your Family

Looking for kid-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy? Eager for tips to make meal-time more pleasant? Or ways to encourage your children to eat more healthy food?

In each issue of Ma Hadash, you will find quick and easy healthy recipes as well as tips and advice to help you teach your children healthy eating habits.  If you have questions or a topic you’d like us to cover, please email caron@firstbites.org

continued >

Read More

Join us on May 9th at 9:30am in the Biran Beit Midrash to talk about the “Top 10 Well-Intentioned Mistakes Parents Make at Meal Time.”

Join us on May 9th at 9:30am in the Biran Beit Midrash to talk about the “Top 10 Well-Intentioned Mistakes Parents Make at Meal Time.”

Looking for new ways to increase how many vegetables your children eat? Consider what they do in Israel: serve veggies for breakfast!  In addition to serving eggs and cheese, Israeli breakfasts almost always include an Israeli salad (made with diced cucumbers and tomatoes), and frequently include peppers, radishes and carrots.  By adding them to breakfast, you are taking advantage of this meal occasion and can start your day knowing your family is fueled with vegetables! continued >

Read More