While I'm recuperating from my trip, here's the final guest post I have for you. I met Heather at Blissdom, and she was so incredibly warm to me that I almost squealed when she agreed to guest post.
About Heather: Heather Sokol is the founder of
Inexpensively.com and has been featured in the Chicago and the
Indianapolis Star. She has also appeared on CBS Nightly News and as a
weekly contributor to Fox59 Morning News. She is the married mother of
three beautiful, active girls who have created in her a Montessori mom,
Scout mom, allergy mom and avid coupon clipper. She shares her money
saving advice at Inexpensively.com, mom proven tips at
MiscellaneousMom.com and reports progress on learning to be a grown-up
As a mom of three, I know it is such
a struggle to raise healthy kids – especially without going broke.
The allure of brightly colored cupcakes, easy to serve sugary juice
boxes and $.99 ready-made lunch kits is strong! However, as the mom
of three food-allergic children, I also know how important it is
choose foods and encourage good nutrition.
But, it’s not without its challenge.
First, it can be difficult to get kids on board for dietary changes.
They want the bright, shiny packages you see on television. Solution
number one? Turn off the television
– I was amazed at the difference in how much my children ask for when
they were not subjected to commercials. Of course, that isn’t always
feasible so you’ll need a few strategies to make healthy foods just
Solution number two: involve the
kids in planning meals & snacks. My girls love to explore exotic
produce. Pick out one new, interesting fruit or vegetable to try the
next time you go to the store. My girls favorites include star fruit,
pomegranate and dino eggs (I swear that’s what it’s called, but
it’s just a plum variety).
If you want to take it a step further,
let your children help in the vegetable garden, then again in the
kitchen. They are much more likely to eat something they helped grow
or prepare. This week, I asked my oldest to make the corn casserole
for dinner. She loves to bake, but does not like vegetables. She ate
her own, made from scratch side dish without complaint!
If that isn’t enough to convince
your kiddos to eat their veggies, dress it up a little. Solution
number three? Kids will eat practically anything if they get to dip
it. There are many healthy dipping choices – peanut butter, yogurt,
hummus and salsa are nutritious options. In fact, salsa is a vegetable
all by itself! Even a lowfat ranch is a good option, if it will
your children to eat more veggies.
Once the rest of the family is on board
for healthier foods, your next challenge is affording them! It can be
costly to eat well, unless you know a few tricks for shopping smart . Watching for sales & using coupons
are the simplest way to save money at the grocery store. This even works
for fresh produce & other healthy living foods.
To ensure you’re serving healthy
options without overspending, plan your snacks & side dishes
based on the sales your store’s weekly ad. We have a fruit bowl full
at all times, but we won’t always have apples & oranges. Sometimes,
we’re well stocked with bananas & grapes. Other weeks, I’ll
find strawberries on sale.
The girls enjoy a wide variety of
for snacking, so I’m able to provide whatever the store offers for
the week. Use the same idea for evening meals. If the ad includes
& cauliflower, you might add stir fry to your menu plan. When
& potatoes are on sale, a good pot roast is always a hit. You’ll
be providing plenty of healthy options for your family, without spending