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Cupcakes or Carrots?

2009 October 13

Taking full advantage of last weekend’s surprisingly warm fall weather, I made a trip to Old Town Alexandria. What a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. With all the walking I did, I needed something to quell my unruly stomach grumbles. I decided to allow myself to succumb to one sweet in particular: cupcakes. The place was busy with lots of children eagerly waiting. I almost thought about buying a dozen. Then my college wallet kicked in and I decided to purchase just one. However, after my return home, I got to thinking about what I had eaten that day and realized: A.) Yes, that cupcake was good and B.) I hadn’t eaten the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables for the day! While I like a piece of broccoli about as much as the next 8 year old, I really try my hardest to get in as much fruits and veggies as I can. Fruit can easily be enjoyed like a dessert! And vegetables can be eaten with all sorts of dishes. Here are some of my other thoughts:

  • One way to really teach and attract kids to healthy items is to get them involved in the process. It helps you out and makes your food healthier at the same time! By safely allowing older kids to help or just observe you peeling and trimming fruits and vegetables, it will help them feel a part of the process and removes dirt, bacteria, and pesticides.
  • I also know that water is appealing to kids and getting them involved in washing fruits and vegetables can be easy. The sound itself of the water in the sink has a calming affect and removing traces of chemicals and bacteria from your food will make it safer and taste even better.
  • Also, selecting a variety of foods can be helpful to engage kids so they don’t have to eat cooked carrots every night of the week. A variety will give you a better mix of nutrients.

All in all, vegetables and fruits really can be just as appealing as a cupcake! Check out other healthy, sensible food tips. Use the occasional cupcake as a treat and give kids the chance and opportunity to love eating fruits and veggies!

About the author: Emily Bruckmann is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a senior attending Indiana University who will graduate with a degree in public health this spring.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Lina-EPA permalink*
    October 13, 2009

    Loved your blog post! Very good advice that we should apply to children and adults. There is no dought if we instill these sensible food tips at an early age, they will last a lifetime1 Keep up the good work.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    October 13, 2009

    Thank you very much ! In my country, Indonesia, we don’t know to eat cupcakes or carrots. We just know rice and rice. Full carbohydrate but poor protein. I cried, because our children still and ready to study!

  3. Patrick C. Hickenhawk permalink
    October 13, 2009

    Emily,
    I think your ideas on how to get kids interested in vegetables are refreshing. As a father of 6, it is often hard to get them to eat their greens. I will apply these tactics and post what I find on a later date. Keep up the good work ;). Go Hoosiersz!!!~~~~~~~

    Patrick C. Hickenhawk

  4. Jackenson Durand permalink
    October 13, 2009

    We are currently working on a best interest to help future generation.
    We all know and for others carrot is one of our natural fruit producing vitamins B also, eliminate lesions epidermis, good for skin.
    Better parents educate themselves the best our children health would be protected.
    Building our children immune by considering vitamins and minerals as priorities.

  5. Rob permalink
    October 13, 2009

    I try to convince myself that eating that 1 cupcake is okay. After all, carrot cake is a vegetable. Right?

  6. Johnny R. permalink
    October 14, 2009

    I eat carrots raw to get the full compliment of vitamins. Cup cakes are usually made with sugar aren’t they? What about cup cakes made with honey, or sorghum?

  7. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 15, 2009

    Fruits and vegetables are key parts of the perfect well balanced diet. But the epidemic of badly overweight persons shows that many seem not to care for fruits and vegetables all that much; not adults or children. If the adults won’t eat a healthy diet and they are the role models, should we be surprised by the epidemic in heavily overweight children. The schools should do a better job teaching children good nutrition habits because too many times parents can’t or don’t want to. It needs to be explaned more clearly to children that a bad diet can result in poor health–heart and artery trouble, diabedes, poor dental health. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  8. Georgia Auteri permalink
    October 15, 2009

    You raise some very good points! Our perceptions about what is good and bad (or “icky”) are shaped when we are children. It can be so hard for people to develop healthy eating habits after they have not been brought up with them. It is not only the parents’ responsibility, but also that of society- what children see other people around them and their favorite TV characters doing has a large effect on them. Keep up the good work Emily!

  9. Jay permalink
    January 6, 2010

    I think that children are more aware today, as compared with my generation, about what food is good for them and what food is not. They know that eating a Big Mac is not a healthy option. Whereas when I was younger, I did not know this. However knowing this, does not deter a child from wanting to eat a Big Mac. Marketing and the fact that it tastes good has everything to do with it. It is my view that the subject of nutrition must be taught in schools to children at an early age. Children should be taught how to eat and what happens in their bodies, and to their bodies, when they eat incorrectly.

    This information is simple and basic, but is not known. Lack of this knowledge has led to the obesity epidemic that we are currently experiencing and an increase in ill health.

  10. Marcus Ruhl permalink
    February 4, 2010

    Good nutrition is important for good learning and it’s been shown that children who regularly eat breakfast have better standardized test scores, better behavior, and are less hyperactive than children who skip breakfast.

    Also we’re helping children make proper nutrition choices that they will carry with them into their adult lives.
    As corny as it sounds, the children are going to be tomorrow’s leaders (and decide which nursing homes they’re going to put us in) so I’m all for educating children about proper nutrition.

    All the best

  11. Jenny permalink
    February 11, 2010

    i say cupcakes all the way! unless i can get carrot cake…

  12. eating healthy permalink
    November 2, 2011

    So, what are some of the things that this kind of diet can do for you? For starters, it has the ability to make you full for a longer period of time. It also will aid in curbing cravings that for the most part is what causes obesity in the first place. If chosen properly, proteins are lower in saturated fats and caloric value and can aid in the reduction of cholesterol.

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