Nutrition – How Do You Start?

Written by Sarah Van Dusen
April 18th, 2011

In March, our CAS Parent Support Group topic was nutrition. Kay Giesecke came to discuss nutrition and the effect it can have on our kids with childhood apraxia of speech. All of us perform better with adequate nutrition and sleep. The hard part is getting our children (and sometimes ourselves) to eat those healthy foods. Kay gave us five tips for getting started. She called them "Some Concrete Changes You Can Make in Your Lifestyle to Take Charge of Your Health".

1. Exercise - It's a given. Make your child go outside and play for an hour a day. Try to make 20 minutes of that time without sunscreen so she soaks up some vitamin D!

2. Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. It is empty calories and reduces your hunger for nutritious food.

3. Try to eliminate trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) from your diet. Hydrogen cannot be digested by your body and is stored in your veins and arteries, contributing to blockage of those vessels. Hydrogenated oils are found in margarine, peanut butter, almost all ready-made pastries and cookies, cake mixes, cookie mixes, muffin mixes, many breads (even whole grain, "healthy" ones), and many soups.

4. Eliminate "white", processed foods from your diet. These include white bread, white pasta, white rice, Fruit Loops, etc. Instead, eat whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, old fashioned oats, etc. Remember: The whiter the bread, the quicker you're dead.

5. Eat at least 7 to 9 servings of raw fruits and vegetables daily. Remember: Eat 5 to stay alive. Eat 9 to thrive.

So now, we have great ideas, but how in the world are we going to get our kids to eat this stuff? Dr. Sears has some great ideas on his facebook page They include:

1. Nibble it. Make a nibble tray out of a muffin pan or ice tray with bite sized pieces of nutritious food. Call each food something fun like "apple moons", etc.

2. Spread it. Let kids smear nutritious spreads (i.e., hummus, avocado, etc.) on crackers or toast.

3. Top it. Put familiar and nutritious toppings on unfamiliar foods (i.e., natural peanut butter, tomato sauce, guacamole, etc.)

4. Bite it. Make a two-bite deal with your child. "Take two bites...and you can have more if you want...or you can try it another time." Don't say, "If you don't like it...." We don't want to plant negative thoughts about healthy foods.

5. Time it. Studies show that children are most likely to try new foods when they are the most hungry.

This and many other tips on how to get your picky eater to eat healthy foods are in the NDD Book (Nutrition Deficit Disorder). It has been proven that if children are introduced to food several times, they will eventually eat it. It's worth it to keep trying.

The above is either directly copied or paraphrased from Dr. Sears' Facebook page. Please view the full article at

See if you can get another family to embark on this nutrition journey with you. Create accountability for one another and enjoy shopping together, sharing stories, and encouraging one another. It's an investment in your child's life!

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