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Healthy diet for kids

It isn’t easy being the child of a clinical dietitian – but it is healthy. Ask Colleen Kilanowski’s kids.

Kilanowski, 43, of Depew, has a 13-year-old son and 9- and 10-year-old daughters. She is project coordinator for the Childhood Weight Control Program at the University at Buffalo.

She and Distinguished Teaching Pediatrics Professor Leonard H. Epstein are recruiting for the next six-month stint of the program, which helps parents and their overweight children, aged 8 to 12, adopt healthier lifestyles. To participate, call 829-6697 or email

I balance their diet. They have to start with their vegetables. Dessert is not an everyday thing. We eat a lot of fish, so dinner is a fish, a steamed vegetable, like broccoli or asparagus or Brussels sprouts. We usually have salad. The grain is iffy: Rice or couscous or quinoa, but sometimes we just leave it out, depending how the fish was prepared.

What’s the most important advice you have for parents when it comes to feeding their children?

Patience. Parents react like, 'They didn’t eat this or they didn’t eat that.’ It all kind of balances out as long as you are consistent with providing it. All my kids like red peppers now. We’d have them try it for a good nine or 10 times; after the first five or six, they started really liking them.

– Scott Scanlon