Saturday, October 31, 2015

How to Make Bloody Eyeball Eggs on Halloween For Kids


I can still feel the wedgie of my extra small thermal underwear pants riding up under my Mickey Mouse costume. Several sizes too small, the cuffs of my thermal undershirt ended halfway up my forearms, making the costume I recycled from the previous year feel especially tight on me. Coming from a balmy island like Taiwan, this cool Autumn holiday of ghouls and goblins must have felt especially foreign to my parents. And yet, knowing how much it meant to me, they slipped on their winter jackets, pulled out their flashlights, and trudged down the neighborhood streets with me.

Having no peripheral vision and distracted by the sound of my own hot breath against the inside of my mask, I held on tightly to my mom's hand as she led me from house to house. "Trick or treat!" I exclaimed as I held out my plastic Jack-o-lantern. The excitement of going door to door and being handed a small package was more thrilling than the package itself. When we returned home, my brother and I would line up all our pieces of candy and categorize them accordingly.

Nowadays, Halloween is a bit of a conundrum for me. Obviously, its premise is antithetical to my low glycemic lifestyle. But Halloween doesn't have to be about the candy. When I think back on my fondest childhood memories of Halloween, the experience of Halloween was far more memorable than the confections.

For my kids, I want them to experience the joy of dancing around in their costumes, pretending to be Spiderman and Minnie Mouse. I want them to experience the thrill of going out at night and going door to door. I want them to appreciate the shared ritual of a collective community. And of course, I want them to feel the pinch of the wedgie formed by their tight thermal underwear.

You don't have to make Halloween about the candy. Bring some Halloween fun into your house with these "bloody eyeball" eggs. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

How to Make Healthy Baby Bok Choy Chips in the Oven For Kids


Did you know our sense of smell, sight, touch, and sound contribute more to the pleasure of eating than our sense of taste? As much as 80% of our sense of taste comes from the olfactory receptors in our nose. Human teeth are exquisitely sensitive, able to detect a grain of sand or grit 10 microns in diameter.

One of the reasons people like potato chips is because they make a pleasing crunchy noise when chewed. Mary Roach, author of Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, notes that the audible crunch of crispy foods comes from their inherent brittle facture: a sudden, high-speed crack. In order to get this noise, you need crack speeds of 300 meters per second. Roach writes, "The crunch of a chip is a tiny sonic boom inside your mouth."

Roach suggests that we like crunchy food because historically, crispness equaled freshness. Compared to a crunchy apple, a mushy apple is decidedly less fresh. However, while processed food like a six month old bag of Cheetos stays crunchy, it is certainly not fresh. Instead of giving your kids food-like products that have been on the shelf for months, why not make your own fresh chips?

You can make your own chips from fresh produce like eggplants. I have also tried king oyster mushroom chips and kale chips. Baby bok choy chips are especially tasty. Each leaf can be peeled off into a conveniently sized chip, and the dark green leafy parts nicely crisp up in the oven.  


Roach, Mary. 2013. Gulp: adventures on the alimentary canal.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

How to Eat Like a Caveman : Paleo Pot Roast & Mashed Cauliflower for Kids

When I listen to my adult patients, I can often commiserate with many common barriers that affect the nutritional quality of their diet. Themes include being overworked, having a lot of stress, and feeling tired all the time. For many well-intentioned adults, it is hard to prioritize eating healthfully in the modern age. 

However, my heart really aches when I hear some of the stories that my pediatric patients relate. Many American kids today are starving for real nutrition and being poisoned by processed foods. Parents' work is so consuming that they really have no idea what their kids are eating. As a result, kids are often left to fend for themselves. Many kids skip breakfast. Still others eat breakfast and lunch for free at school. While special nutritional programs for indigent families are well intentioned, they are actually part of the problem.   

The other day, I was speaking to a pair of young sisters, each afflicted with morbid obesity. At the ages of eight and ten, they already manifested health problems due to their weight, including elevations in cholesterol and blood sugar. I asked them what they ate for breakfast. They said that they usually skipped, but if they made it to school they delighted in eating Bosco sticks. I didn't know what a Bosco stick was, so I asked. A Bosco stick is essentially a pizza rolled into a breadstick. I asked them what they ate for lunch. The reply was cheese pizza, usually washed down with chocolate milk. Halfway through their day, these kids had yet to have any real nutrition. 

Today's kids are more familiar with manmade products like Bosco sticks than they are real food like plants and protein. The diets of so many kids is so devoid of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, it's no wonder that some require supplements like Flintstones vitamins. The irony is instead of taking Flintstone sugar pills, kids today would be much better off if they simply ate their vitamins and minerals from real food, like we used to do when we were cavemen. In the following video, I take a page right out of history and show you how to make a Paleo pot roast that your kids will love. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

How to Make a Healthy Breakfast Egg Sandwich For Kids - A Truly Happy Meal


The other day, my kids came back from a visit to Old MacDonald's farm. They were excited to tell me about how much fun they had. I listened eagerly to their musings. First, they were greeted by a jolly figure with a beatific smile. Then, they waited in line for the main attraction. Each of them were handed a box called a Happy Meal with a toy...hey wait a minute! What kind of farm was this?!?

My face fell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a crumpled up brown bag featuring the villainous golden arches I have come to hate. McDonald's is uniquely ubiquitous in our environment and our culture. It starts early. My mom used to bring me to McDonald's when I was a kid as a rare "special treat." I even have old photos of myself celebrating my birthday at McDonald's, clown and all. 

Kids are routinely assaulted by McDonald's commercials. McDonald's spent $963 million in 2011, which is the most by any restaurant brand. In fact, McDonald's accounts for one-sixth of all money spent on restaurant advertising.  

This is what parents are up against. Fortunately, there are trends that the tide is turning. Children's hospitals across America are finally starting to close their doors to McDonald's franchises. And, sales at the restaurant giant have been declining over the past three years. 

I hope these positive trends continue. Instead of golden fries, I hope kids will choose green veggies. Instead of opting for an egg McMuffin sandwich, I hope kids will choose to eat the eggs and hold the muffin. One day, instead of kids asking their parents to go to McDonald's, I hope they will ask to see Old MacDonald's farm--a farm to table restaurant where kids can learn where their food comes from and have a truly happy meal. 


Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy - Super Food Pop For Super Eaters

Sometimes I get frustrated when my kids don't do what I tell them to do. Alright, I always get frustrated when my kids won't do as they are told. And then I realized, if something always frustrates me, perhaps I need to try another method. I was watching Super Why with my kids the other day, and it dawned on me that I've been going about things all wrong.

If you've ever seen shows like Super Why, Blues Clues, or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, then you know that the premise is to ask the viewer a direct question. I recently read that computer animated cartoons do not actually improve kids' language acquisition. Apparently, those kind of programs are generally much too passive. On the other hand, programs that engage kids by asking them direct questions seem to involve kids better. I enjoy watching my kids not only respond out loud to these programs, but get excited when they answer the questions correctly.

One of the problems with traditional medical practices is the idea that the medical expert should be doing all the advising. With all the expert advice being doled out, sometimes the patient's thoughts can get lost in the process. When it comes to helping someone adopt healthful habits, asking is a better strategy than telling. I learn a lot from my patients and gain a lot of insight into their personal situation when I remind myself to ask, rather than tell.

You can help your kids eat better by asking them. What foods are good for them and what foods are bad for them? Which healthier option would they be willing to try? What new foods are they wiling to try? Would they be interested in going grocery shopping or cooking with you? Would they try making and eating a Super Pop? If you ask your kids, you might just be surprised what answers you get.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...