Monthly Archives: October 2012

Your Kids Reflect Your Health – A Letter From Juli

“An uneducated son is his father’s fault. An undisciplined student is the teacher’s fault.”– Traditinal Chinese Proverb

With 4 kids, I am always asked by friends, family and strangers how I do it? I am proud to say parenting is a lot of work, but I have great, disciplined kids. I have a plan that works: I have people, good people and a great team.
Judy and Jan are teachers of Strawberry Patch and have made it possible to do my practice and be a parent to my kids. My kids are always talking about Judy’s cooking, how great her vegetarian stew is. They can get my kids to eat vegetables even if I’ve tried and failed at home. Today they’re sharing some of their secrets.
Another great thing they do is not allow juice, candy or cakes at Stawberry Patch, just wholesome vegetables, fruits and grains. Providing only good foods means the kids have no cause for acting cranky or whiny.
Your kids can be a reflection of your health. What you don’t feed your kids you don’t eat. It’s simple.
Another tip I can share from experience is nap time. Alexander, my 5-year-old is now in Kindergarten. No more nap time means that when I pick him up from school, his eyes are droopy tired. He’ll whine and complain. So, I decided to switch his sleep time earlier, from 9pm to 8pm. Now I have a happy boy. As adults, we need sleep too. You can train your body to take that power nap and stay alert or go to bed earlier. Respect the safety of others and take care of your body with plenty of rest.
As kids grow they are the resemblance of their parents or their care givers. We show them how to respect their body in and out. It’s ok to take time for your body to rest and heal.
I wanted to thank Judy and Jan for being a great teacher to my kids! It is their discipline and teaching that makes us as parents. As many have said, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Healthy Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Dinosaur Boy and Princess go exploring by Holli Margell

With Fall comes the Holiday Season starting with Halloween and Harvest Festivals. Have you ever noticed that with this season also comes a time of colds and flu? Did you know that sugar can slow your body’s immune system down by 50% or more? This doesn’t help especially with the weather changes affecting our bodies at the same time.
Maybe the celebration candies and treats have something to do with the season of holidays and illnesses. We know you can’t avoid sugar all the time, but perhaps avoiding some of it will help you stay healthier this year.
Here are some helpful ways to celebrate with less sugar:

1) For Halloween, instead of giving out candy and buying the big bags of mini-candy bars that are cheap this time of year, try thinking out side the box. You could give your kids or friends something else that’s fun and healthy like Tangerines with faces drawn on them, or cool erasers, pencils and stickers.
2) During Thanksgiving instead of bringing a Pie to the big meal, perhaps you could bring a tray of festive fruits and berries or make fruit Kabobs!
3) At Christmas time everyone loves Cookies and Treats, but what if you gave something just as fun with less calories and sugar? How about a Christmas Ornament made from Crayola air dry clay that you’ve cut with Cookie Cutters and decorated with glitter (cookies that are pretty, but not edible)!
There are many other possibilities, let your imagination go and find new ways of celebrating without so much sugar.

Do you have any other suggestions? Have you tried going “candy-free” for Halloween? What did you do instead?

The Secret to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables and Fruit

Jude and Janis Shelby run Strawberry Patch Dayschool in Bellevue, Washington. With 33 years of experience they know how to get kids aged 2-5 years old to eat vegetables (and love them). We asked them to share some of their secrets so parents or caretakers could do the same!

Here is what they have to say about getting kids to eat fruits and veggies:

Several best-selling cookbooks suggest “hiding” fruits and vegetables in foods kids like, in order to get finicky eaters to eat them. Who in the world is going to do that for them when they go to school and go out on their own?
They must learn early how to make good food choices. We have a saying at our school that you can’t say you don’t like something if you don’t try it. We introduce them weekly to new fruits and vegetables, and so far most of them like just about everything. I buy frozen petite peas and white corn, which are generally sweeter. Just steam them in the microwave. They may not like it the first or even the tenth time, but if you keep trying, they may find they actually like it!
To ensure that your children learn to make healthy food choices and develop lifelong healthy habits, it’s important to: EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES YOURSELF! Kids take their cue from you – you have to set a good example.

Here are the ways you can help your kids eat more fruits and veggies:

1) Snacks: Keep apples, avocado, baby carrots, celery sticks, cucumber, blueberries, grapes and strawberries on hand for snacks. Serve with low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, hummus or microwave peanut butter for a quick veggie dip.

2) If your kids go grocery shopping with you, use that time to teach your kids about nutrition by reading labels, buying fresh instead of processed foods, talking about the important vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables that nourish your whole body. Select whole grains and stay away from sugary cereals and snacks that have empty calories and little or no nutritional value.

3) Let the kids make choices about what they want for lunches and meals. If they are old enough, have them help prepare meals. They are more likely to be excited about something they picked out and prepared.

4) Whenever possible, eat dinner at the table as a family. Talk about your day and ask about theirs. It is so important for their development to have that time together. Sharing a meal creates an intimacy and a bond that stays with them.

We don’t believe we need to encourage a child’s junk food diet! For birthdays and other special days we may have a fruit tray or vegetable platter. The kids really like it. How can you use fruits and vegetables as treats? Use your creativity and make it fun. Who doesn’t like to have fun?

Your kids will eat fruits and vegetables if you make it a part of your daily routine and set a good example. For a lifelong habit of healthy choices, it is worth the effort!
For more on Strawberry Patch Dayschool, visit or call 425-644-8727

Happy Fall,
Holli Margell, Editor – Contribution by Jude Shelby