"Good to Grow!" Tips for Healthy Living
The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is proud to announce its designation as a “Good to Grow! Museum” by the Association of Children’s Museums. This past spring, the Museum received national recognition as one of four museums who have earned this new, innovative designation. CDMOD participated in a pilot, self-study program to assess how children’s museums can provide leadership in providing healthy choices and activities for children and families in their communities.
As a “Good to Grow! Museum” we ask families to join us in making the following life-style changes: eating healthy foods in the right amounts, increasing physical activity, reducing screen time -including computer and TV, and connecting with nature through outdoor play.
The CDMOD is proud to share the vision that children’s museums can play a leadership role in promoting healthy choices through play. We further believe that CDMOD can help families by supporting key messages throughout the museum’s programs and events such as the Healthy Family Series sponsored by the City of Rancho Mirage.
Here are Our Tips for Eating Healthy!
How many times have we collected the empty, child-appeasing bag of chips and the fast food wrappers, vowing to start our family on a healthy eating plan?
And, how many times have we found that it’s much easier to say we’re going to start our children and ourselves eating healthier, but our picky eaters and our hectic, time-crunched days keep us reaching for the phone and ordering a pizza?
Beginning a healthy eating regimen does not have to be difficult and time consuming! CDMOD has some tips that will make the switch from pizza to veggies easier:
1). Healthy meals need not be elaborate! Stay simple when concocting a meal or snack, but think creatively! One of the most affective ways to get your family to enjoy healthy fare is to make the food fun to eat! Start making funny faces out of pieces of fruit, or call vegetables funny names. “Marching Ants on a Log” sounds way more fun than
“Raisins and Peanut Butter on Celery.”
2). Plop a little chef’s hat on your picky eater’s head and get him involved in the process of creating healthy foods! Studies show that if you engage children in the preparation of meals they are more likely to try, and actually enjoy what they make.
3). Afternoon munchies are notorious for ruining dinner appetites, but midday snacks are never a bad idea! Just make sure your child’s snack consists of “green light foods,” or food that can, and should, be eaten all the time! Vegetables, fruits, water, beans, legumes, and
whole grains all make perfect pre-dinner snacks filled with vitamins and nutrients. Small snacks consisting of these foods will make waiting a little more bearable but won’t fill them up too much! Remember though, a little bit goes a long way; eating everything in moderation—even fruits and veggies— is key to staying healthy.
4). Make healthy food seem like a treat! Expand your dessert dictionary to include fruits! Making “Monkey Pops” will prove to be as fun as baking cookies and cakes. All you have to do is a.) peel a banana and cut it in half crossways; b) insert a wooden craft stick into the
end of each half; c) spread each half with peanut butter; d) freeze for four hours! Voila! A tasty desert full of potassium your child will enjoy!
5). Keep healthy snacks within easy reach for whenever hunger pangs strike. Single servings of low-fat string cheese, prewashed fruits and greens, and low-fat, low-sugar yogurt are all good choices that are more convenient and more satisfying than the fast-food drive-through!