Detail shot of recipes that offer a healthier lifestyle. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Stephanie Schultz, health and wellness director with Festival Foods, gives a presentation called Navigating the Aisles on Thursday at The Children's Museum in downtown Green Bay. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Eating healthy is a struggle for many people, especially around the holidays.
Getting your children to eat healthy is even harder.
So Live54218.org, an anti-obesity advocacy group, decided to educate parents how to make smarter choices about food and get their kids to do the same, said Melinda Morella, the organization’s community engagement specialist.
Live54218.org teamed with The Children’s Museum of Green Bay, Festival Foods and United Health Care to teach parents how to “Navigate the Aisles” and better understand how to be nutritious around the holidays.
Morella taught kids how to make a healthy snack in the shape of a ladybug as their parents sat through a seminar from Stephanie Schultz, a registered dietician for the grocer.
Morella recommended making fruits and vegetables interesting to kids — by getting creative and making them into shapes — in an attempt to get children to incorporate the items in their diet. She also suggested hiding vegetables so children don’t realize they’re eating them, like shredding carrots into ground meat or poultry.
Live54218.org’s website features photos of ideas for presenting vegetables in various shapes.
Schultz gave attendees ideas on how to “trade up” recipes and make the best choice in the grocery store using the NuVal system, which gives items a score between 0-100 based on nutritional value and makes it easier to compare foods brand-to-brand. The grading system is available in more than 20 retailers and 1,600 stores nationwide.
For example, Schultz suggested using plain Greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream, and pointed out regular peanut butter has better nutritional content than the reduced-fat version, which has more sodium and calories than the regular version.
Tips like those stuck out to Todd Anderson of Green Bay, who went to the presentation looking for suggestions to get his 3- and 4-year-old children eating healthy “from the start.”
“It’s more than just calories,” he said. “I want to see what a good choice is for me and my family. It’s easy to make simple changes and make a big difference for my children.”
Norine Reiedi of De Pere said it’s a challenge to get her 1-year-old daughter, Amber, to eat meat, so she looked for ways to incorporate additional protein in her diet.
It’s a struggle sometimes to make meals that are “healthy but appetizing,” she said, and the presentation gave her good tips on how to better use the grocery store.
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