One of the easiest changes we made in our own kitchen to try to eat healthier is to cook whole grain rice instead of instant white rice. It was so easy and tastes so much better; we were kind of surprised that anyone doesn’t eat whole grain rice! So I was happy to hear that Uncle Ben’s rice is trying to encourage kids to eat healthier, starting with whole grain rice. They are running a cool contest on their Facebook page for pint-sized chefs and are offering a $20,000 cash prize (plus an appearance on the Rachael Ray show and a $50,000 cafeteria makeover to the winner’s school.) To enter, kids have to make a 3 minute video showing them cooking a healthy rice dish. There are so many delicious options-I think for most kids, narrowing down which one to cook will be the hardest part! To spread the word about the contest, Uncle Ben’s is also asking mom bloggers to share their best tips for healthy cooking with kids. I decided to go straight to the source and see what ideas a few kids I know had:
DB Age 12:
"Healthy cooking should have less fat, less sugar and be tasty. A way to do that is look for a recipe you like and then substitute the bad ingredients for good ingredients, like honey instead of sugar, don't fry your food, stuff like that."
CC age 5:
"Don't eat too much sugar every day. And don't eat too much ice cream, candy and stuff like that. Try whole grain cereal, maybe some eggs. Last night we had some healthy cheese dip with protein. It was awesome - you should try that recipe! That's pretty much all I know."
AH age 7:
"Use lots of different colors of food. Vitamins come in lots of colors and you need to eat them to be healthy. But, don't eat too many calories. You have to be careful with those things!"
I think clearly kids these days are being taught a lot more about nutrition than I was in the 90’s! I agree with their suggestions-look for healthy ingredients, lots of colorful foods, and avoid excess sugar. As a mom, one of the main things I try to do is buy “real” ingredients instead of processed food. If I buy a bag or box of whole grain rice, fresh lean meat like chicken breasts, and some fresh veggies, I can make delicious dinners for my family like stir fry, tacos, or cheesy rice casseroles that are usually much cheaper and healthier than anything I’d buy in a box or from a restaurant. And as their fun contest will show, many of these recipes are so easy a kid could do it.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.