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Feeding finicky kids leads mom to blogging

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Mormon mom Amy Roskelley had a problem.One son would only eat plain rice or noodles with salt, pepper and butter.Another wanted to dump ketchup on anything and everything — lasagna, chicken, even spaghetti.Her daughter changed her mind daily about what she liked to eat. Some days she liked a certain food. The next day she didn't.Roskelley, a stake Primary president who works for the Utah Health Department overseeing community health programs, wanted her children to eat good foods so they would be healthy. She knows it's important.So she came up with a plate and a plan.The plate? It's is a simple divided design on an inexpensive plate that has a place for grains, a place for proteins and a bigger place for fruits and vegetables.When the child fills in all three places, he or she has a balanced meal. (Roskelley sells them for $4.95 each.)The plan? Everything she discovered that worked for her children, she put on a Web site — www.superhealthykids.com — fed by a personal blog.She could document what she learned and help others with their finicky eaters."It started to get frustrating," Roskelley said. "Now, they have a salad every night, even cooked vegetables and they usually finish their meal. Every time we try something new, it's on the blog."With their own plates, they get to make their own choices and develop good habits along the way. "The younger they are, the better, as far as developing healthy habits," Roskelley said."You want to focus on what to include, the positive, rather than what you can't have."As a family they bake whole-wheat cookies on Sunday. They've tried roasting broccoli.They have fruit smoothies with spinach for breakfast.Their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are made with natural peanut butter and jelly made without sugar.For an after-school snack, they have a fruit kebab or a handful of nuts.Her kids are healthier, have fewer colds and feel better more often than before. Her asthmatic daughter has had no symptoms since they started eating better.Roskelley saves money on groceries because she's not buying junk food and she makes a little money for advertising on her Web site.She has sold about 400 plates, 30 of them to a group sponsoring a camp for diabetic children.Her Web site gets 750 hits a day."It isn't all just about food," Roskelley said, "We focus on getting enough sleep and exercise, too."Every Friday she posts an idea for a family outing — such as holding a family dance night, rollerblading to pick up litter or playing a game where everyone draws a card that suggests a different exercise — that encourages movement and fun together.

E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com