I LUUUUVed talking with Susanne Bennett, DC on her podcast “Wellness for Life” -she is such a bundle of joy!
We talked about how parents can get their kids to eat healthy using unique ideas such as imagination, book characters (positive peer pressure), and games.
Teaching kids to eat right can be tricky. You don’t want to turn every meal into a lecture, but waiting too long could result in unhealthy eating patterns.
I’ve summarized our FUN tips into three themes to get your kids to eat right:
Theme 1: Keep them engaged
At Nurture, we host “Rainbow Days” to highlight fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors. Around the time of the big Rainbow Day (and for about two weeks after), parents and teachers noticed a HUGE change in that kids were eating many more veggies and fruits. But then… the excitement died down over time.
How to keep the excitement FRESH over time? That’s where I got the idea from my book, “Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow”. I wanted to leave something behind that the kids could engage with on an ongoing basis.
It’s an interactive book that kids love. The illustrations were drawn by my son. There’s some positive peer pressure! 🙂
What made this book great for kids is that it’s a conversation between the reader (parent) and the child. We kept the drawings simple so it’s easy for the character to morph and for the children to identify.
Theme 2: Give your Kids Choices
It’s important to give kids choices. Let them try different fruits and vegetables, and figure out what their taste buds think on that given day. Encouraging curiosity and fun. At home, I created bingo cards for my kids that incentivized them to try new foods. I loved bingo as a kid, and I love bingo as a parent!
Theme 3: Make them part of the solution
Don’t look at your kid as a “problem child;” instead, encourage them to be the solution.
How about: ask them for help in picking out food that will make YOU feel better.
What will give Mama energy for her work day?
What will give Dad energy for his long training run?
You’ll find that when they’re part of the solution, they’ll be more likely to eat the right foods, too.
You can even engage them in helping you to find new recipes. Feel free to search our recipe database at Make Nutrition Fun.
I’d love to hear how you keep your kids excited and engaged in the fun in the comments section.
And speaking of fun, here is a picture of (Radio MD’s Wellness for Life show host) Susanne and me when we were able to meet in person. We danced the cha-cha-cha together! 🙂