From McDonald’s to the White House, there’s no doubt that the state of children’s health and nutrition are in the news. Whether it’s born from a smart marketing plan or from genuine concern, most can agree that this is an issue worth your attention.

You may have noticed more kid-friendly recipes in Cooking Light magazine in recent months, and we even have a new Back-to-School guide on our website. What makes a Cooking Light recipe kid-friendly? Well, the good news is that the standards for kids and adults are the same. These recipes must meet our nutritional standards, they must pass through our test kitchen, and most of all, they must be delicious. The real triumph in great kids cooking is that it’s not just for kids. It’s so good that everyone at the table enjoys.

This month, Cooking Light’s The Ultimate Kid-Approved Cookbook will be released, offering a full collection of this kid-friendly fare. The editors brought back Carolyn Williams, mom of two, registered dietitian, and author of Cooking Light First Foods (which I used to the letter when making food for my baby) to write this follow-up for older kids. As a mom of two children myself, I love how this book brings delicious, healthy food to life. I also appreciate that it doesn’t require dinnertime to become a showplace of weird, smiley face concoctions. The food needs to look like food at my house. (But as a parent, I have learned never to judge. If making that salad look like Darth Vader on the plate gets little Sam to eat his veggies, I’m all for it.)  

So we’re ready to give away a copy of the book. And our question isn’t just for parents. After all, it takes a village to raise children, and this village needs to do a lot better at feeding our kids healthy food.

Describe for us here in 100 words or less: What would be the one thing you wished you had learned about healthy eating as a child? Entries should be typed into the comments field of this post. Entries are due by Friday, September 9th at 11:59 a.m. EST.

Editors will select their favorites based on originality, creativity, and how well you address our question. Winner will be notified via email by September 16th, 2011.