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  #1  
Old 07-07-2017, 05:30 PM
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Default Getting Firm About Eating Veggies

I try to be respectful of children's feelings. And I'm not the one who has raised these kids I watch. But I've become a little suspicious lately that the "I don't like this" routine is really more about "It's not my favorite and I want to work this a little."

I tried to raise my children to eat a variety of food and vegies. I've been a little firm about it with my own (e.g. need to finish vegies or whatever before I give more of another food).

So I tried a little more push with my dck the past two weeks, and guess what? They actually ARE able to eat their peppers or fresh tomatoes at least one bite of them.

I'm wondering if I should just offer and not worry too much if they eat, after all, they are not my children and I'm not feeding junk.

Or should I push a bit more, meaning should I not give extras of grain/protein if they haven't finished their veg?

One family in particular does have those "bad genes" or in other words, most of the family are overweight to different amounts. Those kids reeeeaallly need to learn to love vegies and water. I've actually said a few things to mom, who is very athletic and interested in health. From things the kids have said, the family has been more health conscious at home.

But slightly-chubby dcb avoids his veg and wants to fill up on ham sandwiches and milk. I'm wondering if I should get more firm with him and stick to only the required quantities of grain/protein and have him finish his veg before giving him another sandwich.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:52 PM
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As an overweight healthy person myself you have zero clue why someone is or is not overweight. Judging people as having "bad genes" is a bias that you are now inflicting on children. I think singling out an overweight child and making him eat certain foods that you deem healthier is sending a message that his weight is not acceptable.

I would simply talk about nutrition ( NOT about weight because there are many many many UNhealthy skinny people ) and let then decide. Children listen to their bodies but adults impose their ideas on children which messes up that mechanism. "Finish your veggies before you get dessert" assigns a value to food. Nutritious foods are bad and desserts are good. It actually accomplishes the very opposite of the intention. ALL foods are good and should be enjoyed.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:33 PM
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Judging people as having "bad genes" is a bias that you are now inflicting on children.
It was mom who originally said that, not me. Sorry that I didn't mention that. Also the list of reasons that the TopStar crowd gave for causing obesity did include genetic factors. I really wouldn't throw that out with no reason.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:48 PM
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It was mom who originally said that, not me. Sorry that I didn't mention that. Also the list of reasons that the TopStar crowd gave for causing obesity did include genetic factors. I really wouldn't throw that out with no reason.
Unless you are here to solve the obesity crisis I would stick to education and let the kids eat what they want. I can say a million and one things about the "experts" and their idea of nutrition. Do you know for a fact that the skinny parents and kids are eating all their veggies all the time? Not to harp on this but weight is not always the end all be all factor in health. There are skinny people that eat a lot of sugar and have fatty livers and fat people who have perfect blood tests.

Anyway that is just my opinion! I worked with a skinny woman who smoked two pack of cigarettes a day and drank about 7 cups a coffee but guess what she was skinny! I had a parent who was very skinny and a DR told her she had to start drinking whole milk or she would lose her pregnancy. Does that sound healthy?
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:14 PM
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I just go with the technique of not offering seconds on protein or grains at all. "No more bread, Johnny. If you're still hungry, you can eat your corn or your pears." If they choose not to eat their veggies/whatever, then they might get hungry, but that was their choice.

KY also doesn't allow us to make them eat all their veggies/fruit/whatever before giving them other things, so we don't even have that option.
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:43 PM
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I just go with the technique of not offering seconds on protein or grains at all. "No more bread, Johnny. If you're still hungry, you can eat your corn or your pears." If they choose not to eat their veggies/whatever, then they might get hungry, but that was their choice.

KY also doesn't allow us to make them eat all their veggies/fruit/whatever before giving them other things, so we don't even have that option.
But why not protein?
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:51 PM
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But why not protein?
It's the most expensive part of the meal, and is harmful to have too much of it if you're not getting enough fiber to balance it out.

I usually only make exactly the servings needed of the protein, and have seconds of fruit and veg available.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:35 PM
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Yes, it is usually is the most expensive. I've heard of people who do very low carb (meaning almost all protein and just a tiny bit of veg) and zero carb diets that are quite healthy. I don't suggest we do that but I'm surprised to hear about too much protein. I wish I could have the problem of too much protein in my diet! I'm definitely a carb addicted myself.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:27 AM
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I encourage my DCKsto try all of their food, but do not force. I do allow 2nds on foods. I actually just set a timer so that kids know no 2nds until timer goes off. So if they eat what they want they might have extra time while they are just sitting there, maybe if they are hungry enough they might give it a try. You have no real proof that he is overweight because of his diet. But I always remember what my old boss said to me when I worked at a center that served low-income families. We have no idea what they are getting to eat at home and how much, so let them have whatever they think they need to fill them up. Obviously we didn't serve junk food so they could have 2ndson whatever and we were not able to withhold food as punishment or any other reason, that included not trying their vegetables.
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Old 07-08-2017, 03:38 AM
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I would avoid pushing and getting more firm about these kinds of things. Ya know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. It's a battle you'll never win. As much as we would love to see these kids eat only healthy options, be the perfect kid, etc., etc. it isn't only our responsibility to encourage it to happen.
Our options are limit junk to almost zip. Put healthy choices on their plate. If they're done after only eating what they chose, then so be it. Healthy choices again next time.
And yes, definitely kids use their control in this area. Case in point, dcg almost 4 yo, refused shepherds pie for supper the other night so went without. She was hungry at bedtime and then decided to eat her shepherds pie. And whaddya know, she liked it. It's 80% control by the child. So pushing or being more firm isn't going to help.
Offer, they can refuse. Don't even raise an eyebrow over it.
What is within our control is how we present the foods. For example: If dcks prefer veggies with ranch or hummus, then we can offer it that way. And in this case, I wouldn't treat any child differently because he should be eating his veggies and he's not.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:18 AM
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I couldn't care less if the kids eat or not. Offer what you offer and no seconds if they haven't finished first serving. Quit talking about it and don't worry about it.

I am a HUGE fan of bowl in one meals. I make a meat, rice/potato/pasta/beans, and two vegetable stews. If I have kids with texture issues or ones that don't like veggies, I just puree the veggies into the broth or puree the whole bowl into the consistency of clam chowder. My kids love blended food. I also blend up choke foods like grapes and serve with a spoon.

It works well with most kids. I start out blending home made baby food and if they don't graduate to eating the whole foods then I just continue to puree and increase the thickness as they age until it's just a bowl of stew.

I make all sorts of combinations and use different spices, different grains or beans. They are easy to freeze too so I just make enough to freeze a few extra meals so when I don't want to cook, I can just pop out of the freezer and nuke.

I also make home made breads and make veggie protein breads. Slip them in there and they don't even know it.

Otherwise they can eat as they wish. I never have food encouragement or battles. I can bring up a kid from birth to five and never discuss food.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I couldn't care less if the kids eat or not. Offer what you offer and no seconds if they haven't finished first serving. Quit talking about it and don't worry about it.
This. Kids get the following on their plate:

1. Whole grain something or other
2. Fresh fruit
3. Fresh or cooked veggie
4. Dairy something or other
5. Lean meat or egg (if their protein for the meal isn't coming from veggies or dairy)

Adjusting, of course, for allergies or for kids who are starting solids and haven't been exposed to much yet. I have three different physician-confirmed sets of dietary restrictions I'm juggling right now--an egg allergy, a possible dairy intolerance elimination diet, and a nut/peanut allergy. There's another kid that I'm nearly sure has a dairy intolerance, but her mom is apparently not concerned with the runny poops from hell.

They want seconds of anything? Only when they've eaten at least the majority of everything on the plate. So one kid wanted more crackers yesterday, but hadn't touched his watermelon. The other kid wanted more watermelon, but hadn't touched her crackers. Tough noogies. I say,

"Dairy is for strong bones and teeth." Or, "Meat is for strong muscles." Or, "Grains help you poop!" or whatever's relevant to the food still on the plate. And I leave it at that. No pestering. If the plate still has something on it, or they get up from the table, or they knock the food onto the floor--that's it; mealtime is over for you, and if you're still hungry later or you give yourself scurvy I did my job to the best of my ability and you, little guy, are to blame.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I couldn't care less if the kids eat or not. Offer what you offer and no seconds if they haven't finished first serving. Quit talking about it and don't worry about it.

I am a HUGE fan of bowl in one meals. I make a meat, rice/potato/pasta/beans, and two vegetable stews. If I have kids with texture issues or ones that don't like veggies, I just puree the veggies into the broth or puree the whole bowl into the consistency of clam chowder. My kids love blended food. I also blend up choke foods like grapes and serve with a spoon.

It works well with most kids. I start out blending home made baby food and if they don't graduate to eating the whole foods then I just continue to puree and increase the thickness as they age until it's just a bowl of stew.

I make all sorts of combinations and use different spices, different grains or beans. They are easy to freeze too so I just make enough to freeze a few extra meals so when I don't want to cook, I can just pop out of the freezer and nuke.

I also make home made breads and make veggie protein breads. Slip them in there and they don't even know it.

Otherwise they can eat as they wish. I never have food encouragement or battles. I can bring up a kid from birth to five and never discuss food.


I NEVER considered blending grapes! All of my kids LOVE them, and I HATE them (because I hate cutting them up!). I feel like I just found a $100 bill in last winter's coat! I can't wait to blend up some grapes!
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pestle View Post
This. Kids get the following on their plate:

1. Whole grain something or other
2. Fresh fruit
3. Fresh or cooked veggie
4. Dairy something or other
5. Lean meat or egg (if their protein for the meal isn't coming from veggies or dairy)

Adjusting, of course, for allergies or for kids who are starting solids and haven't been exposed to much yet. I have three different physician-confirmed sets of dietary restrictions I'm juggling right now--an egg allergy, a possible dairy intolerance elimination diet, and a nut/peanut allergy. There's another kid that I'm nearly sure has a dairy intolerance, but her mom is apparently not concerned with the runny poops from hell.

They want seconds of anything? Only when they've eaten at least the majority of everything on the plate. So one kid wanted more crackers yesterday, but hadn't touched his watermelon. The other kid wanted more watermelon, but hadn't touched her crackers. Tough noogies. I say,

"Dairy is for strong bones and teeth." Or, "Meat is for strong muscles." Or, "Grains help you poop!" or whatever's relevant to the food still on the plate. And I leave it at that. No pestering. If the plate still has something on it, or they get up from the table, or they knock the food onto the floor--that's it; mealtime is over for you, and if you're still hungry later or you give yourself scurvy I did my job to the best of my ability and you, little guy, are to blame.


Teaching kids about WHY we want to eat certain foods makes a big difference. Milk makes our bones strong and gives us protein. Meat and beans helps make our muscles big and strong! Veggies and fruits keep us healthy! Many times at lunch, I'll get questions about "what's in this" and they're not asking for ingredients, but about vitamins and what they do for their bodies. Some kids still don't care to eat much, but ALL of my kids have had at least SOME change in attitude because of these conversations. Some of my kids have become much more open to trying new things because of this.

Also, we have a big garden-when the kids see things go into the ground, watch them grow, and get to pick them, their attitude about trying them can be much different than a food that just appears on their plates. The USDA has a gardening curriculum available for free-it isn't targeted for the under-5 crowd, but much of it can be customized.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:52 AM
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Yes, it is usually is the most expensive. I've heard of people who do very low carb (meaning almost all protein and just a tiny bit of veg) and zero carb diets that are quite healthy. I don't suggest we do that but I'm surprised to hear about too much protein. I wish I could have the problem of too much protein in my diet! I'm definitely a carb addicted myself.
I'm on a doctor prescribed low carb diet....it's not low veggie. You count your carbs by finding the net carbs, and subtracting the fiber content. So it's a diet that is mostly meat and high fiber veggies, with a little bit of high fiber and high water fruit added.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:09 PM
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Oh, yeah, no, I'm taking about the people who literally only eat animal products. Beef, chicken, milk, eggs, some cheeses, some yogurt, fish, etc. That's the very low carb and zero carb I meant. I can't resist my carbs (meaning fuits and veggies as well as grains), but many people do this and thrive lol not my style! But they are very healthy... From what I've read.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:30 PM
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Oh, yeah, no, I'm taking about the people who literally only eat animal products. Beef, chicken, milk, eggs, some cheeses, some yogurt, fish, etc. That's the very low carb and zero carb I meant. I can't resist my carbs (meaning fuits and veggies as well as grains), but many people do this and thrive lol not my style! But they are very healthy... From what I've read.
They may seem like they are thriving for now...but in the long run they've increased their risk of heart disease and cancer exponentially.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:05 PM
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we do the one bite rule. We also remind the kids they need to eat what they put on their plate, since they serve themselves at meals.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:58 AM
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we do the one bite rule. We also remind the kids they need to eat what they put on their plate, since they serve themselves at meals.
We do 'serve yourselves' sometimes but not always. What do you do if they refuse to eat what they've taken or if they wanted 2nds which you've given them, then they decide they're not hungry enough to really eat it? I will remind them they wanted it and need to eat it but then you get the stubborn ones who still refuse.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:38 AM
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I serve.
They eat.
Or not.

Makes ZERO difference to me.
In their tummy or in the trash, it's gone either way.

Natural consequences work great (hungry in between)
Peers are THE best teachers.
Sit non-veggie eaters next to veggie eaters.
LOTS of positive praise for veggie eaters.

No hiding anything.
No thank you bites.
No having to stay at table.

Every.single.one of my kiddos (12-14 of them) eat veggies daily and LOVE them.

Only a handful of them came to me that way.
The rest were simply trained.
(via peer example/social cues, positive praise and natural consequences).
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hwichlaz View Post
They may seem like they are thriving for now...but in the long run they've increased their risk of heart disease and cancer exponentially.
There is a lot of research that suggests that fat and protein is not responsible for heart disease and cancer and that sugar is the culprit.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:32 AM
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I echo what many said above. I serve the meal, if they eat it great. If not, that's okay too. There are no seconds until your plate is clean.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:42 AM
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There is a lot of research that suggests that fat and protein is not responsible for heart disease and cancer and that sugar is the culprit.
I tend to be more trusting of peer-reviewed studies and research by entities like...the Mayo Clinic. There is a lot of proof that high cholesterol is a huge part of the problem. Eating processed food contributes greatly to this. There is, even more, research that plant-based diets prevent cancer and heart disease. Both of these diets cut processed sugars.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hwichlaz View Post
They may seem like they are thriving for now...but in the long run they've increased their risk of heart disease and cancer exponentially.
Oh no no no no no. Please do more research on this. That is all.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by hwichlaz View Post
I tend to be more trusting of peer-reviewed studies and research by entities like...the Mayo Clinic. There is a lot of proof that high cholesterol is a huge part of the problem. Eating processed food contributes greatly to this. There is, even more, research that plant-based diets prevent cancer and heart disease. Both of these diets cut processed sugars.
Part of the issue is that once people have overdosed on processed sugars, their bodies can no longer tell the difference from healthy sugars (carrots, fruit) and processed sugars. But hey, I'm not here to argue To each his own. I can't argue a plant based diet. I was vegan for a loooong time. It didn't make me healthier, or fix my blood test numbers (drawn every 3-6 months for autoimmune diseases and conditions), however...immediate improvements on a keto, very low carb diet.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hwichlaz View Post
I tend to be more trusting of peer-reviewed studies and research by entities like...the Mayo Clinic. There is a lot of proof that high cholesterol is a huge part of the problem. Eating processed food contributes greatly to this. There is, even more, research that plant-based diets prevent cancer and heart disease. Both of these diets cut processed sugars.
Watch a documentary about sugar and you will find that research was manipulated to promote low fat. It wasn't for health reasons. High cholesterol is more a product of processed sugar than saturated fat. I have done lots of research on the topic. For example eating a hamburger which is sugar (bun) plus saturated fat (meat) is the problem. Eating saturated fat alone or with veggies does not increase cholesterol.

Any way you choose to eat that cuts out processed grains and sugar can be healthy in my opinion. I am much healthier now that I am eating meat and my blood work is perfect.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:13 AM
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Oh no no no no no. Please do more research on this. That is all.
I have, and I have my own blood test results to prove it. A meat based diet gave me high cholesterol.

Doing meat, veggies and fruit...my cholesterol is 120 again.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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Watch a documentary about sugar and you will find that research was manipulated to promote low fat. It wasn't for health reasons. High cholesterol is more a product of processed sugar than saturated fat. I have done lots of research on the topic. For example eating a hamburger which is sugar (bun) plus saturated fat (meat) is the problem. Eating saturated fat alone or with veggies does not increase cholesterol.

Any way you choose to eat that cuts out processed grains and sugar can be healthy in my opinion. I am much healthier now that I am eating meat and my blood work is perfect.
Processed foods and sugar =
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:34 AM
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I have, and I have my own blood test results to prove it. A meat based diet gave me high cholesterol.

Doing meat, veggies and fruit...my cholesterol is 120 again.
Nice! I don't think our diets are that different? I eat meat and veggies at every meal, I just limit veggies to non-starchy, high fiber ones. Fruit is really occasional for me. Like a treat.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:22 PM
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Part of my problem has been that I've been very generous with seconds (and thirds) on the sandwiches and cheerios etc even for kids who won't eat vegies. I'm going to get more firm and only give the food program minimum on sandwiches unless they eat their vegies. The main family in question gets a lot of fast food in their diet. They are with grandparents a lot who just love to spoil and I hear from both the Grands and also the kids that they buy it a lot.

I've also heard that Americans eat a lot of protein. Children 1-3 need 1 g of protein per kilo per day on average, or 10-20% of their calorie intake. I guess the food program guidelines make it easy.

My understanding is that sugar raises insulin which causes fat to be stored rather than burned by physical activity. A meal that is both sugary and fatty will cause fat to be stored.

And actually, yes, I would very much love to solve the obesity epidemic. While I support capitalism as the best baseline, there are many who couldn't care what they convince us to buy, as long as they rake in some bucks. And we buy it coz it's yummy and we don't have time to really cook anymore. And we're not well educated on health. And all those yummy, high calorie recipes on Pinterest and facebook...

Vegies are very low calorie foods. It's super important for us to eat more of them than we do. I love the "My Plate" thing--I find it helpful.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:46 AM
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I always gave the appropriate serving size.When they finished all they could have a serving of their favorite.Of course I tried to serve veggies they liked.I would discuss with the group the new "rules".Maybe have a unit on healthy choices and reset the meal expectations.
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