Why is nutrition so important?
We are what we eat. With our children’s growing brains and bodies, it is important to make nutrition a priority. That does not mean you need to panic and force salad down their throats, but making nutrition a more mindful topic in your house is a great start.
Try gardening during warmer months and really focus on the exciting aspect of where food comes from. When children are having fun, they almost forget the food is healthy.
Reading is a great way to help children be more mindful of eating healthy. Some great books are “The Boy Who Loved Broccoli” by Sarah A. Creighton, “Tyler Makes Spaghetti,” by Tyler Florence, and “The Seven Silly Eaters,”by Mary Ann Hoberman.
Children learn from what they see and do. Model and eat healthy for them, try to have a vegetable on your plate or dinner table so they get used to seeing vegetables as options. Try to make it fun and less of a power struggle.
Some fun ways to introduce foods:
Have a blind eating contest: Cover everyone’s eyes with a blindfold and do a taste test, see if they can guess the food.
Host a Smoothie Making Contest: Present kids with a bunch of smoothie items and help them blend their own concoctions.
Have a family dinner or cooking night: Give everyone a job in the kitchen or have a choice in menu planning.
Plan a family contest: The person who eats the most healthy foods/vegetables for the week gets a prize/special responsibility (picking a fun dessert, gets out of doing chores etc.)
Casual comments and introductions into the importance of what food can do for our bodies and the downsides of sugars and packaged snacks will not be lost on your child. Children are listening, even when we think they are not. Any healthy change you make in your home is a good thing!
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