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Three Winners Tell Us How They Raise Healthy Kids!

Robyn Openshaw - Sep 20, 2013 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

winnersI’ve gone through 50 single-spaced pages of contest entries, parents telling us their best stuff for how they raise kids to be healthy eaters. And I’m excited to announce I’m running the three winners here on the blog. They, and many others with great ideas, will be in my upcoming book, How to Eat Right In the Real World.

The winners are:

Janet Carter of Iona, Idaho

Shanda Blake of Saratoga Springs, Utah

Dr. Michelle Jorgenson of Highland, Utah

Shanda and Michelle won because of their extensive ideas, and sharing great recipes. I’ll share their entries next. Janet won not for quantity of ideas but because the idea she uses to organize her healthy eating, is BRILLIANT. I loved the photos, too, which help us understand exactly how her family does this. Enjoy!

Janet Carter 1

Janet Carter and family.

From Janet Carter of Iona, Idaho, mother to six children:

We established healthful meal traditions, one at a time, that developed into a 14-day menu that is full of everything we love.

It started with just making whole wheat pecan pancakes every Sunday after church. Then we added making Robyn’s granola for Monday mornings (found in 12 Steps to Whole Foods). Everyone looked forward to these so much (their favorite meals) that we decided, “Why can’t we have favorite meals every day?” It grew from there. Now we have 14 days of favorites.

Janet Carter 2We post a laminated 7-day menu (with pictures and recipes) on the cupboard doors in our kitchen with Velcro. We have a second set of 7 days of menus to attach for the second week.

We find it works because everyone can see what we are eating that day and what it looks like. They remember, “Oooh, yum! I love that!” It also makes it easy if I need one of the kids to make the next meal.

  1. We have an ingredients list for our menu that we shop for once a week. It takes the guess work out of the major project it is to prepare 21 meals per week for a family of 8, that include a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  2. Janet Carter 3We have educational and inspirational healthful quotes up around the house. I didn’t make a big deal about it when I put them up. But I find my family pausing to read them! The quotes remind us why we eat this way, and what happens if we happen to fall back into the SAD (Standard American Diet) we used to eat. So we stay motivated
  3. We have found that when we make 3 healthful meals every day, instead of our old routine which was, “every man for himself,” our children are much happier and content. They don’t ask, “What is for dinner? I’m starving!”

And we don’t answer flippantly, “I’ll let you know when I decide.” Everyone knows what we are having, and they look forward to it. They don’t constantly ask for snacks. They know in a few hours, we are having another great meal. I was really surprised by this unexpected, amazing outcome. It creates so much security and is what motivates me to continue this way of eating.

Posted in: Relationships, Whole Food

12 thoughts on “Three Winners Tell Us How They Raise Healthy Kids!”

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  1. Theresa says:


  2. Jane says:

    The 14 day idea sounds great. I’d love to see the names of the recipes that go along with the 14 day plan (get an idea how it varies & is put together)

  3. Hilary Roberts says:

    I’d love to know what Janet’s recipes are! I tried to zoom in, but it got too blurry to read. I’m 17 weeks pregnant with my fourth and am absolutely loving this idea for when baby comes!!

  4. Victoria says:

    Great idea! I would love to be able to see exactly what’s on the weekly menu (text a little blurry). Any chance the menus can be posted for all to see and printout? It would be a great way to get started on this organized habit and provide some suggestions. Thx!

    1. Robyn says:

      I will ask her. Thing is, if her recipes are her version of “healthy” but don’t meet the GSG “high bar,” even though I’ll still respect and admire Janet, I won’t publish them here or in the book. (I bet they’re far more healthy than the Standard American Diet—I just don’t know exactly, and I publish stuff here on the blog that keeps with my 60-80% raw, 95% plant based, all whole foods program.) The idea is fantastic. But we’ll write her and ask for those docs, see if she wants to share! 🙂

      1. Sheyann says:

        Hi! I’m Janet and Tate’s cousin. She posted many of their favorite meals on her 30 day plant challenge FB page. They usually are plant based and many, many are raw and whole foods.

        1. Sheyann says:

          Oh, forgot to mention: Click on the photos. Most of the recipes are with the photos. She took photos of all of her food.

  5. Fran says:

    The PLUS HER RECIPES HERE link just shows I don’t have permission to view or see draft. Also where it says view her winning recipe HERE link does not show the recipe only tells about her family

  6. Laurie West says:

    I LOVE this article! I tried Robyn’s food plan for about 3-4 weeks and felt great, but found that I was spending SO MUCH TIME planning, shopping, preparing all of it and that I was wasting a lot of the food because it is just for myself, and it cost me way more money than I wanted to spend. What do you suggest? I still make my daily smoothies, but would welcome your advice for meals just for one. Thanks. Laurie

  7. Hi. This is Janet Lee Carter. If you would like me to send you the word document with our 14 menu and recipes, you can send me an email to Or you are welcome to take a look at them Robyn for approval on your site. The recipes contain only plants with very little salt, oil, and sugars. No Dairy. No meats.

  8. Kelli says:

    I love the idea of posting inspirational nutritional info in the kitchen. I’m gonna try that since my walls are mostly bare anyhow!

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