Cupcakes or Carrots?

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.