A 13-Year-Old’s Unique Take on Healthy Eating

| 3 min read

This blog post was written by Grace Hiatt, a middle school student in Plymouth, Michigan. This season, she joined us in The Simple Kitchen, an educational cooking studio where she has served up healthy dishes for years and honed her skills as a young chef. The Simple Kitchen has joined our #MIKidsCan mission to protect our children’s future by equipping them with healthy eating habits early, and getting families to sit down and enjoy dinner together again. Dig into their Autumn Minestrone Soup recipe—perfect for brown bag lunches—and learn more at ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan.
I’m Grace. I’m 13 years old and an intern at The Simple Kitchen for Chef Kristen Podolinski (we call her Chef Pod). She has taught me so much about food and healthy eating. Cooking and baking are my passion. I love to do it and learn about it every day. You can always learn more, especially about cooking and making healthy food.

The #1 Tip from Chef Pod

The Simple Kitchen Plymouth Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield #MIKidsCan Healthy Eating
Chef Pod taught me that eating seasonal foods is important. Some examples of seasonal ingredients for fall are apples, pumpkin and cinnamon. Seasonal eating helps with keeping food fresh and interesting.

How I Eat Healthy at Home

Something healthy that I make at home are smoothies. You would usually think these aren’t that healthy, but I make mine with fresh or frozen fruit and some milk or coconut water. You can also use yogurt. Sometimes I take a young coconut, cut it open and pour the coconut milk into the blender. After that, I scoop out the soft inside and add that to the smoothie. You can also add a bit of honey to give it more flavor.

My Snacking Philosophy

Even though unhealthy food is everywhere you look, we need to start eating better. For example, for a snack, people think “Oh I will just eat a bag of chips,” but there are so many other more nutritious foods we can focus on. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear “healthy snack” is fruits and vegetables. Some things I like are apples with peanut butter, celery with cream cheese and vegetables with hummus. Those are just some basic snacks I eat sometimes when I get home from school.

Perking Up Plain Salads

At dinner time, I always like to eat a salad with my dinner. Salads are great because you can do anything you want with them. Sometimes I add beans, olives, cucumbers and tomatoes with a simple homemade balsamic dressing. Other days, I could make a salad with onions, peppers and carrots with a lemon-and-oil dressing. In my opinion, salads are great because you can match them to your eating style.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.