Children learn eating habits at early age

Good for you

October 03, 1990

Learning to eat carrots and broccoli and all the good stuff starts early. These points will help get your children on the right eating track.

* Eat your meals together. Emphasize family dining at home, with healthful menus. Limit "grab and go" eating; many grab foods are not nutritious.

* Fix tasty-looking food. The better a food looks, the more likely it will be eaten. Serve interesting colors, shapes and textures.

* Simplify eating; serve finger foods and bite-size pieces.

* Season lightly. Children prefer mildly seasoned foods, so use herbs, spices, salt and pepper lightly.

* Don't use food as a reward or punishment. Teach children that food can be satisfying, but don't encourage eating for emotional satisfaction when they're happy or sad. Don't force a child to eat a food because of misbehavior or offer treats for being good.

* Keep smart snacks on hand. Growing children need more than three meals a day. Have fruits, juices and other healthful foods available.

4 These banana oatmeal muffins make a tasty snack.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins We tested this recipe with egg substitute and used vanilla extract in place on the banana extract. The recipe is easy to double. The muffins are very good, especially served hot from the oven and spread with a little reduced-calorie margarine.

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup uncooked (old-fashioned) regular oats

1/2 cup ripe, mashed banana, about 1 large

1 egg, beaten (or equivalent in egg substitute)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon banana extract (or vanilla extract)

Vegetable cooking spray

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in oats. Add banana, egg, oil and extract; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter evenly into muffin pans, coated with cooking spray, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.

One muffin has 125 calories, 3 gram protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fat, including 1 gram saturated fat, 113 milligrams sodium and 22 milligrams cholesterol.

-- "365 Easy Low-Calorie

Recipes" by Sylvia Schur and

Vivian Schulte; Harper and Row

Publishers -- 1990, $15.95.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.