Teaching Kids About Nutrition and a Giveaway!

I love it when I discover a new free resource for moms!  At our 2o11 Hearts at Home conference in Colorado, I met a mom who is carrying out her passion to help kids eat healthy.

ViviLeDish.com offers FREE, fun, interactive tools designed to give children ages 3-8 a daily, digestible dose of wellness education.

The site is a great resource for homeschooling families or any parent committed to spending more one-on-one time with their child!

ViviLeDish.com is unlike any nutrition site out there. First, it’s designed for 3-8 year olds. Second, it encourages family time rather than take away from it. Third, the recipes and activities accommodate the attention span of kids and the availability of moms.  It takes only minutes to get through each day’s program.

The site provides parents a simple, comprehensive approach designed to:

  • Educate and entertain kids about nutrition and encourage exercise
  • Introduce children ages 3-8 to new foods in a way the whole family can enjoy
  • Reward children for healthy choices (kids feed the Giggle Grower when they make a healthy choice)

I no longer have a 3-8 year-old, but I know a lot of you do so I wanted you to know about this great resource!

ViviLeDish also has a children’s book about nutrition that I’m giving away today.

If you’d like to enter the random drawing for the book, leave a comment below (if you’re reading this in email, click here to leave a comment) about one strategy you use to help your family make healthy food choices!


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86 thoughts on “Teaching Kids About Nutrition and a Giveaway!

  1. I have three kids, 7, 5, & 2. It is sometimes hard to get them to make healthy eating choices. I try not to have a lot of unhealthy foods available. I reward them with fresh or frozen fruit when they do something good.

  2. we don’t ban junk food, but we do limit it and they know it is a rare thing to get it. we explain the differences between healthy and junk and the consequences of eating too much junk. (we have a friend that has a burger from a well-know fast food chain that is over 3 years old, it LOOKS totally normal! my older kids have seen this and understand that food that does not break down over that period of time is just not right!)

  3. We dont buy much junk either and snacks are usually veggie or fruit choices. I like to ask my kids which food items they think would be healthiest so they can make good choices also. They get treats now and then but its important they learn to choose healthy foods over unhealthy.

  4. Eating healthier is an area we could definitely do better with! I’m looking forward to visiting the site with my 2 year old and 3 year old today.

  5. 4 boys – 17, 13, 6, 4; I try to put out some fruit (ready to eat) on the counter when I know the boys will be hungry and starting to rummage for something to eat. I also try to put a variety of foods at the dinner table to ensure that my really picky eaters will eat as well. BUT, since I have 2 really picky eaters (17 and 6) this book would be great. I am always trying to figure out how to get them to eat healthier. 😉

  6. this is great! teaching our kiddos about nutrition is super important so theyll stay healthy when were not making all their food decisions for them. (but, ahem, im learning this is no easy task!!)

  7. I have three kids ages four and under. We try to encourage healthy eating, but I am always open to new ideas! Sometimes it feels like such a battle! Thanks for the tip on a good book to look to for ideas!

  8. I’d love to win!! We fight w/ my six year old about vegis all the time. I’d love to help him learn why they are an important part of our diet.

  9. Once my kids can read, we are constantly reading the nutrition content in things! It always amazes people when my kids can tell you which product has better ingredients or more fiber. I agree…we dont ban junk food, but we only save it for special times…not everyday!

  10. This book would be fantastic for my 5 7 year olds. We love to learn ways to add healthy foods to our diets.

  11. My kids are 4 and 7 and I try to keep a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in the house, and let them pick out which one they want. So if they want a sandwich, they can’t just have crackers with it, they have to have a fruit and/or veggie with it….and I let them pick. 🙂 I also try to add extra veggies to meals…spinach in the manicotti, chopped up red/green peppers in the spaghetti sauce, etc.

  12. One of the best tools at our house to help us eat a healthier diet is menu planning. When I have a plan, I make healthier meals. When I dont, its frozen pizza again. 😎 Would love a copy of the book!

    • I think you have really hit the biggest obstacle of not eating healthy – NO PLAN. Getting the family to plan (or anyone to plan!) meals and having the ingredients is really the key. Having the week’s menus taped on the refrigerator or bulletin board really helps – and the first person home can see what needs to get started in order to get the meal underway (if age appropriate).

  13. I have 3 kiddos, ages 2-5, and we are constantly looking for new *healthy* snack ideas. I think, in my house, a lot of it comes down to taking the time to prepare healthy meals instead of just getting something that is quick. For snacks, I’m always looking for new ideas and new tricks. I’m actually on a kick now trying to revamp our diet and what we eat for the whole family! What a great resource this is!!!!

  14. I’m always looking for ways to get more fruits and veggies in my kids. I’ll have to check this site out.

  15. I keep cut up fruits and veggies in the front of my fridge at kid height so when my son goes to the fridge looking for food this is what he sees first. 90% of the time he choices a fruit or veggie.

  16. I have four children, two are still little ones 7 & 9 years old. I have been looking for a way to get them into the kitchen more and help me with children’s recipes as they love helping mom and I know you are never too young to learn how to cook.

  17. I have a 6 year old and 1 year old. My daughter is very picky with food so this site will be great for us. Thanks!

  18. This book and website sound great – they’re next on my list to visit today. I let my 3 yr old son choose a vegetable for supper, and he is allowed to choose a fruit and a vegetable when we grocery shop. Even if it means buying strawberries once a week through the winter, its worth it to know he’s going to eat it. He always gets excited when he knows we’re eating something he chose – last night it was asparagus. We try not to do veggies with sauces, but almonds on green beans is a big treat.

  19. Im trying to do healthy for the whole family, but Im it is an uphill battle. Im excited about a new resource! I have 2 children under 7

  20. Sometimes making healthier choices can take a real tole on the pocketbook. We have been working really hard on having a balance for both! I think my kiddos are getting the idea of healthier choices and where we still lack behind we try to make up for with chewable vitamins, V8 fusion juices (their pretty good), and Boost Strawberry Milk.

  21. we have such a hard time getting my daughter to eat at all let alone healthy things. Thank you so much for introducing this to me! I hope this will give me some better ideas because at this point I just feel lost as I am sure most mothers do when they have a child that just wont eat.

  22. My husband and I have 3 little boys (8, 6 and almost 4)…for anyone w/little boys, you quickly find out they have sporadic growth spurts and they will start eating anything put in front of them! I take advantage of this by putting out fresh cut up veggies and fruit and tell them they can snack on as much as they want until I get something else prepared. Throwing frozen brussel sprouts and cooked garbanzo beans in a smoothie w/almond or rice milk, unsweetened Greek yogurt, ground flaxseed, wheat germ and other fruits (banana, frozen mixed fruit, berries) provides necessary protein for my 2 youngest: vegetarians! Juice Plus+ Complete is the whole food based drink mix we use to mix w/all the above and it provides extra important vitamins and minerals, all whole food based, the way God intended us to eat.
    (If youre interested in learning more about JP+ products, check out http://www.lchristiansharesjuiceplus.com.)
    Thank You so much for your blog, Jill! I find myself forwarding on the email notifications at least 3x/week! God Bless your ministry as a caring mom who loves Jesus!

  23. Just dont buy the junk. If its not available then they will have to eat healthier. My son only drinks pop when we eat out at restaurants.

  24. I am always looking for new and creative ways for my 2 girls to eat smart (and enjoy it!) This looks like a great tool (I think they get sick of hearing Mom all the time!) What a great idea and we are looking forward to using the Web site!

  25. We use a lunch formula. One main dish (like a sandwich or soup), one fruit, one veggie, one dairy and then a chip/cracker/cookie of choice.

  26. boys 5 8. I try to give them fruit choices every day after school as snacks. Youngest is a very picky eater and loves anything bread or sweet 🙁 so Im glad when he eats apple with peanut butter almost every day!

  27. With 5 children, it is sometimes difficult to please everyone with one meal. But I can honestly say 95% of the time, we eat as a family at the dinner table only having to make one meal:)
    Thanks for giveaway opportunity!
    ~Jen @ hutchinsonherd.blogspot.com

  28. Just having healthy options available is important. When they ask for a snack – I steer them to the healthy ones. Most of the time they are more than happy with what I suggest.

  29. I have four kids ages 10, 7, 4, and 3. My 7 year old is the only picky eater at our house. There are only a few fruits and veggies that he likes, so I make a point of serving them often for his benefit.

  30. My boys are 1-1/2, 2-1/2, and 5. I love to do outings with them, but it seemed like too many of our outings were ending in the drive-thru so we could eat lunch in the car and make it home for nap time. Now, I try to pack our snacks and lunch. Whole grain goldfish and raisins are a favorite for their snack packs and our sack lunches include meat and cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread, yogurt, bananas, fruit cups, applesauce cups, carrots and dip. For my one year old, I still pack the fruit purees that come in pouches with a lid. He eats these without a mess. I also buy the Fruitables juice boxes for a healthy drink and we take plenty of water.

    This is just what I needed to read today. I’m on my way to the website!

  31. I joined a CSA this year to practice what I believe. We have tried a lot of things that we would not have otherwise tried. We also like to ‘play’ with our food, arranging it into a train: sandwiches on a carrot track with cheese stick wheels; or snowman english muffins with neufatchel cream cheese, blueberries and carrot nose. Thanks for the resource~!

  32. I want my family to eat healthy…but we also really love sweet treats after our dinner. I usually make homemade meals and treats (so we eat less of the processed stuff), and in order for our children to have a treat after dinner they MUST eat the fruit and/or veggie that is being served with that meal–its a family rule! My son has become a wonderful fruit and veggie eater…but my little girl often goes without her sweet treat. The book looks wonderful!

  33. My kids are 11 and 8, but this seems like a good website, I’m excited to check it out. Anything info on nutrition is always good.

  34. Eating Healthy… a daily struggle for me. I have twin 6 year old daughters. One eats extremely healthy and is as skinny as a rail. The other barley touches her fruits, veggies..etc and is what we call fluffy She is getting better, but still needs improvement. I am always looking for ways to create healthier meals not just for my kids but for everyone!! I plan to check out her site and see what inspiration she has to give!!

  35. I have taught my kids understand, read and use the portions on the bag/box so they have self control when eating.

  36. I have 3 kids, daughter age 7, and twin boys age 5. Im always looking for new ways to incorporate healthy eating. This looks like a fabulous book.

  37. My daughter is 9, but I think well check it out. Truly it is an area we need a little more help in to help us out.

  38. My boys are 1-1/2, 2-1/2, and 5. I love to do outings with them, but it seemed like too many of our outings were ending in the drive-thru so we could eat lunch in the car and make it home for nap time. Now, I try to pack our snacks and lunch. Whole grain goldfish and raisins are a favorite for their snack packs and our sack lunches include meat and cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread, yogurt, bananas, fruit cups, applesauce cups, carrots and dip. For my one year old, I still pack the fruit purees that come in pouches with a lid. He eats these without a mess. I also buy the Fruitables juice boxes for a healthy drink and we take plenty of water.

    The boys also help me clean and cut veggies for dinner. Sometimes this inspires them taste them while we work and eat them when they’re served.

    This is just what I needed to read today. I’m on my way to the website!

  39. What a great resource. I am a homeschool mom of three, who also cares for an infant (trying to pay for the cost of homeschooling). It is so hard to cook healthy and teach them why its important when the world fights against us. I have to do everything on a tight budget since I stay home, so cooking healthy is not easy. I would love this resource. Im excited to look at the website!!

  40. This is just what I need. My kids 3 and 1 have recently decided to no longer eat their vegetables. Its frustrating, so am looking for new ways to get them to eat their veggies. Thanks.

  41. My girls help pick recipes out of cookbooks and then help prepare/cook the meal. My 6 yr old even surfs kids websites for recipes she would like to make:)

  42. One thing we do is try to keep healthy snacks available, so the kids aren’t resorting to eating candy or a pop tart all the time when they get the munchies. Celery, carrots, fruit, and cheese sticks are the favorites at our house!

  43. I refrain from buying much junk food in the first place, and am constantly trying new recipes, often very healthy, and my kids have to at least try one bite of everything. They dont get their favorite meals all the time, and they learn to discover lots of healthy things that they enjoy.

  44. My kiddos have to try everything served before we find alternatives. The Thank you bite is a staple term used to encourage trying things before asking for something else. My preschool teacher started that tradition in my life! I do not serve different meals for each child. I work hard to make sure that each meal has most, if not all, of the food groups represented, and then after they try things, I add applesauce, fruits or something. There are some evenings that are easier than others, but we have always eaten like that, and the results for far (ages 2 and 5) are good. For example, my son put down a sucker the other day to eat more broccoli!

  45. my 9 month old son isnt eating too many things yet, but he likes frozen fruit, so i try to give him that as a snack and finger food to suck on.. and it helps soothe the teeth that are coming in too!

  46. Ive started making oatmeal in the morning from scratch. I use either the regular oatmeal (5 minutes) or quick (1 minute). It doesnt take hardly any longer to make and it doesnt have any of the chemicals, etc., that are in the instant. I just add brown sugar and real maple syrup or cinnamon and it gets eaten up right away.

  47. My girls are 4 and almost 7…this sounds great!! Since this is something I struggle with myself, this looks good. I try to give my kids healthy snack choices and make them try at least 1 bite of the veggies.

  48. Thank you for sharing this Jill and I cant wait to check out the website and read more about the book too. My kids are 46 now and my kindergartener is such a picky eater. Thankfully she loves fruit, but Ive been working on getting veggies on all of our dinner plates. For a while, I hated throwing all their veggies away and fighting that battle with them every night, so I gave up, but that isnt going to get us anywhere so Ive started trying again. I kept both of my kids from even trying junk food for as many years as I could (other family members and the daycare/school did eventually) and Ive always urged them to choose protein-rich foods (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts) to help them feel full longer. Im proud they hadnt even tried soda until last year and always encourage them to have milk or water. They both have a sweet-tooth and my son is a juice addict but we all have our issues! 😉

  49. This momma needs a lot of help getting her kids to eat healthy! This will be a great resource!! Thanks Jill!

  50. Its harder to do in the winter here in the Midwest, but when my girls (4 and 2) get to help pick out yummy fruits and veggies at a farmers market or the like, theyre much more excited about eating them!

  51. I only have one child left in this category (my kiddos are 5, 10, and 16) but healthy food choices are a constant need – at any age! I am a healthy food hider, always looking for ways to sneak in extra fruits and vegetables – pureed carrots in pasta sauce, applesauce in muffins, you name it. I also always serve seen fruits and veggies with every meal, and they are not optional. Any source that can get the kids more involved in the food choices is a great one by me!

  52. I have 3 and one not the way and we do a lot of education with them on what is good for our bodies and what isnt. I dont buy much junk food at all and try and get them in the kitchen with me making their snacks and other things so it provides those opportunities to ask questions and discuss food.

  53. I have only offered water and milk to my 1 and 3 year old. They don’t even drink OJ that often even though it’s offered; I’m glad because juice has so much sugar and the current controversy of additive/pesticides. Also try to make sure that they have cheese and yogurt on hand for when they don’t eat their meals. Tofu might be an easy and nutritious protein alternative; it even comes in a very soft form–silken. “Silken tofu is ideal for puddings, smoothies, dips, soups, salad dressings, sauces, pie fillings, and other creamy desserts (even cheesecake!). “

  54. I am happy to find online resources to look at with my 3-year old daughter. We are learning how to make better and healthy food choices! I just bought baby spinach, frozen berries, and whole milk yogurt to make smoothies! Yum!

  55. The biggest thing I try to do for my kid’s nutrition is to model good eating habits for them. I am definitely not perfect as I love my chocolate and my sweets. However, I recently stopped drinking my one-a-day Pepsi because I didn’t want my kids to think that was a good choice for them. So, this is something I know my homeschooled 6 year old would love, along with his three sisters, age 2 1/2. Thanks for sharing the website with us. I will definitely make that a favorite on my computer:)

  56. My kids (ages 3, 5, 6) are more likely to eat raw veggies if they get to help clean and prepare them. The were so proud of themselves for helping, and they really had fun dipping the veggies in some low fat veggie dip.

  57. I started renaming our dinners, which makes dinner prep and the actual eating much more inviting to the kids. We have rainbow tacos (chicken and red, orange, yellow, green bell peppers and purple onions), rainbow pasts (same idea), and Noise Pollution Tacos (named because my daughter was creating a lot of noise pollution the first time while I was throwing together taco meat into a ring of crescent rolls dough–great with lots of chopped iceberg lettuce and taco sauce drizzled on top).

  58. I put out cut up raw veggies for the kids to nosh on while I get dinner ready. When they are at their most hungry they tend to be more adventurous about eating. We talk about ‘treats’ or ‘junk’ and everything else as a protein, good/medium/weak carbohydrate, dairy, fruit, veggie. At 6 and 8, they are both learning about what they are eating. Thanks for sharing the website!

  59. I started offering some raw veggies when I was fixing dinner and found my daughter really likes them raw or blanched.

  60. I have 6 and 8 year old daughters and have been working to teach healthy eating habits–unfortunatley my oldest has a slow metabolism like myself so will probably always have to watch what she eats–don’t want to send the wrong message at a young age but I do want to teach her good eating habits.

  61. I limit the amount of junk food that comes into our house & we talk about nutrition almost every day as we have multiple food allergies & one kiddo with celiac, but I think the most important thing is modeling good eating habits. Just this morning a few of my girls, ages 7, 4 & 2, brought me breakfast in bed & of all the things they could’ve brought me they brought what they said was my favorite, a large bowl of romain lettuce with carrots 🙂

  62. We have a 9 and 6 yr old and try to always insist that they have healthy snack such as fruit, vegtable or cheese stick and then maybe (maybe, not always a given) they can have a sweet. We have also noticed our oldest eats out of boredom, so we try to refocus his attention to get his mind off of food at times.

  63. A favorite quote of mine from Susie Larson is, “we cannot impart what we do not already possess.” I have found that as I have tried to teach my children to eat healthy, I have had to take a second look at my own eating habits to see if they are truly reflecting good stewardship of my temple.

  64. Love this! I would love to incorporate more teaching on healthy foods and choices in my preschool classroom. The kids love it when we play “what kind of healthy snack did Ms. Karen bring today?”.

  65. I have a son who is overweight and the other son is fairly active but I want to keep him that way and hep the older on with his weight. I am always up for a good nutrition book/activity! Count me in!

  66. One thing I find really helpful for me to get my kids to eat more fruits and veggies, is that I often make their snacks into happy faces on the plate, complete with hair and ears. It’s funny how much better they’ll eat healthy snacks if it’s part of the face!

  67. My kids (boys age 9 & 6.5) and I have dairy allergies and are either celiac or gluten intolerant – and my daughter (almost 5) has MULTIPLE severe food allergies, so nutrition is always at the top of our list. Most junk food is totally off limits because of allergen reasons, and I make 95% of our food. My kids can all read labels at the store, and help plant and harvest our family garden each year, and help/watch the canning/freezing process. They are also very involved in picking out dinner and lunch options. This website looks like fun for us to check out.

  68. I try to model the healthy eating habits that I want my children to learn by eating many fruits and vegetables. Often times, they want what I am having and I’m happy to share my healthy choice!

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