Getting Kids involved in Nutrition

August 5, 2014 12:00 am

Recent population surveys indicate that many children are not meeting the healthy eating recommendations. For example, children commonly eat too many ‘extra’ foods but not enough vegetables, fruit, breads and cereals. So how can parents get their children more involved in nutrition? Here are a few tips to integrate nutrition into your child’s life without making it seem like work.

  1. Plant a garden – Kids love digging in the dirt and watering a garden.  Studies show that children who help grow the fruits or vegetables are more likely to eat them.
  2. Create a Young Chef– Many parents are reluctant to let their children help out around the oven or with knives but there are still ways that your child can be a junior chef that will get them involved in the preparation of healthy food.  This is also a great time to talk to your child about the benefits of different types of food on the human body.
  3. Farm it!  Taking your child to a farm for berry picking or harvest time will help your child connect with where and how food is grown.  Many farms are very child friendly and have fun games and activities to help educate children about the ways that food is grown.
  4. Try, Try, try again – Pediatricians remind parents that it may take trying a new food 10-15 times before they take to it.  Don’t give up if he/she does not devour a food the first time.
  5. Access – Keep fruits and raw veggies out in view.  Studies show that if children (and adults as well) have visual access to healthy food, they are more likely to eat it.
  6. Make it Fun!  Try holding a scavenger hunt in your kitchen or play other fun games to get your child thinking about healthy food.

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