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Kaylor: Tips for eating and shopping smart

By Staff | Sep 5, 2014

Planning meals ahead of time can improve your health while saving you time and money. Getting children involved in planning and cooking meals can have benefits for the whole family too.

Tips to shop smart, cook healthy &eat right:

Shop smart: Kids can have a big influence on family food spending, but as a family shopper, you control what makes it home. Some ways to get the family involved with grocery shopping are to create the grocery list together and get food-group snacks they like such as fruit, crunchy vegetables, string cheese, yogurt, or pudding cups. Shop supermarket aisles together and read food labels. Compare Nutrition Facts labels to make healthier choices.

Review the serving size and total number of servings in the container.

Cook healthy: Involve children in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. Kids love control and creativity. Any way they can be included in meal planning or preparing will increase the likelihood of a successful dinner. Younger kids can put plates on the table, pour beverages, or fold napkins. Older kids can get ingredients, wash produce, mix, and stir.

You could even have your teens be the cook for a night and you could be their helper in the kitchen. Another way to make meal time more appealing is to add variety to staple dishes by varying the ways you cook them. Grill or broil the chicken you usually bake, mash the potatoes you typically roast, and steam the vegetables you normally saut.

Eat right: Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Dinner-time conversations have a huge impact, as you share ideas and pass along family values. Pick topics that are positive and allow everyone to talk.

TV and mobile devices can create distractions that can throw off any family’s mealtime. Declare mealtime a TV and phone-free zone, except for emergencies. While finding time to enjoy meals together gets trickier for families every day, research continues to demonstrate that family meals are a great way to promote healthy family eating habits. Putting together a family meal does not have to be complicated. Let everyone choose a favorite item and build simple, delicious meals around them.

Learn more about how you can shop smart, cook healthy and eat right at eatright.org/kids/.

– Lisa Franzen-Castle, RD, PhD, Nutrition Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension


1 (15.5-oz.) can salmon, drained

1 cup whole-grain (unsweetened) cereal or crackers, crushed (ex: plain Cheerios)

2 eggs, beaten

cup milk

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

Use a fork or clean fingers to flake salmon until very fine. Crush cereal or crackers into crumbs. Add cereal or cracker crumbs, eggs, milk and pepper to salmon. Mix thoroughly. Shape into 12 patties. Heat oil in a skillet. Over medium heat, carefully brown both sides until patty is thoroughly cooked. Serve by itself or on a bun.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 90 calories, 5 g fat, 9 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 190 mg sodium.

– Foodwise Calendar

– Compiled by Carolee Kaylor, NDSU Extension Service, Pierce County Family Nutrition Program

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