LADUE, Mo. — As 5 On Your Side continues Fit Family Week on Today in St. Louis, we want to help you and your family tackle the critical lifestyle change of eating healthy. Now, we know getting kids excited about fruits and veggies is not easy, but there are some tricks. We went grocery shopping with a nutritionist to find out.
5 On Your Side ran into father Willy Landman at the Ladue Crossing Schnucks. He was grocery shopping with his kids in town. Landman admits saying no to his kids doesn't happen as often as it should.
One of his daughters grabbed a bag of sugar, "Oh cotton candy! can we get these, daddy?"
"It’s extremely difficult because I’m a sucker for my kids,” said Landman.
When the Landman’s are out grocery shopping, Dad usually gets them whatever they ask for.
He said, "I just get stuff that they really want because I love them which is not really good, I know, but I just get whatever they want.”
Landman is not alone in this. A lot of parents struggle with finding that balance for their kids when it comes to healthy eating.
Joy Millner is the co-founder of the Fit and Food Connection. The non-profit provides free nutrition education to those in need. Millner is a personal trainer and nutritionist. She’s also a mom of three grown kids, so she knows the challenge of getting kids to love their fruits and veggies
Millner showed 5 On Your Side's Alexandra Corey around the produce section.
"Everything in this aisle is wonderful. There’s no sugar in here, there's no carbohydrates, there’s amazing nutrients in all of these peppers.”
Millner says there are common mistakes people make.
"They don't drink enough water. They don't eat enough vegetables. Too much sugar and too much white flour and too many processed foods," she explained.
Millner says the best way to get started with your kids is by setting small goals and motivating them.
For example, "If you do this, then we'll give you this. If you do five push-ups, let’s see what your body looks like at the end of the day. So we have fun with it and we make it easy and they really like it."
Planning your meals ahead of time and having healthy snacks at the ready is also key.
"I’m a huge believer in containers in your refrigerator, containers in your freezer," she explained.
Once you leave the produce section and make it into the aisles where a lot of the processed food lives. The number one thing you should do before you decide on a product, is read the labels.
The fruit and vegetable drinks that market themselves as super healthy, such as the Naked drinks, are loaded with sugars.
"Some of these items are the biggest mistakes we make. A lot of these things that are touted as vegetable items are really full of sugar."
Millner says the more ingredients on the label, means it’s more processed and harder for your body to break down.
She recommends parents lead by example and educates their kids on making the right choices.
"Great healthy foods that you cook together and you eat together they eventually do get the hang of it," she said.
For more info on The Fit and Food Connection online, here.