Keeping Your Kids Healthy

When it comes to our children's health, we want to ensure we're giving them healthy foods, taking them for their annual doctor check ups, and making sure they get enough exercise and sleep. Some of those things may be harder to enforce than others (memories of pulling my hair out over bed time are now flooding back to me).

I've been so blessed in the food arena with my daughter. Her drink of choice? Water. She rarely drinks anything else. She's an adventurous eater, too. She'll try anything at least once and loves to dip foods in sriracha sauce. And she generally eats everything I do — "clean," unprocessed foods 90 percent of the time. Of course I'll supplement some of her meals with the occasional mac 'n cheese or something else I wouldn't dare eat (I'm gluten free), because who wants to be a complete wet blanket? Teaching our kids to make healthy choices, and to understand "everything in moderation" is a huge part of good parenting. But I digress…

Even with "pretty good eating" around me, I can't control everything my daughter eats all the time. I pack her lunches for school and summer camp but, in all honesty, those lunches are sometimes filled with more convenient items than healthy ones. We adults understand that a healthy immune system goes hand-in-hand with good gut health — which is compromised by diets high in sugar, fat, and processed foods — but how do you explain that to the vast majority of kids who refuse to eat vegetables and insist on surviving on mac 'n cheese?

To help fill in the gaps in my daughter's diet, I started adding in Vibrant Health's Super Kids Vibrance about three years ago. Her favorite is the chocolate flavor and she prefers it in smoothies in the morning for breakfast or after dinner as "dessert." Before chocolate came around, we mixed the apple flavor with yogurt in the mornings before rushing out the door to school. Not only does it have the nutrients I'm afraid she's missing out on during the day, but it also has lots and lots of probiotics.

What do you do to ensure you kids eat right? Do you hide vegetables in your recipes? Do you supplement like I do? What are some of your favorite ways to sneak healthy in so your kids are none the wiser? Please share with us so other parents can benefit from your genius!

Shannon Steffee is a magazine editor by day, and a mom, health nut, and music lover by night. In her spare time, she enjoys writing about health-related topics and sharing her personal experience with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and gluten-free eating. You can find her on Twitter: @ShanSteffee. She is based in Orlando.

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