Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turning Your Kids into Healthy Food Chefs

Guest post by Lior

Getting your kids to eat healthy is not only imperative to their health through their growing years, but it also sets the path for their future well-being. For any parent or any individual responsible for children, they are well aware that this is a task that is much easier said than done.

I personally have gone through this battle with not only my own youngsters, but also with kids that I looked after in a home daycare setting. That can be even more difficult as these youngsters don't feel that you have the same authority as their parents do. Yet as a responsible day care provider, I felt it was my responsibility to provide healthy meals while the children were in my care.

This meant that I had better come up with some pretty fast, innovative ideas. My first brainstorm was to get the kids interested in cooking for themselves. After working out some of the kinks in trying to put a plan together, I finally was successful. Being as this has worked so well for me, I thought I would pass it along.

It was a bit of a challenge as I was dealing with a variety of age groups. So I announced that we were going to have our own children’s restaurant, and all the kids were going to have a role to play in our new business. This immediately perked their interest.

Next step was to gather them all together to have a meeting to plan the menu. I made it a point of telling them that really important restaurants had to offer good, healthy food. So we spent a few hours looking on the web at children’s sites that talked about healthy foods. While doing this, I got the kids to keep a list of all the healthy foods that they liked as we came across them. By the time we were finished, I had a list from each child of what they liked without them even knowing that this was what I was after.

Then we planned a menu for each day of the next week based on these lists. Each day, two of the children would be the chefs and the others would be the customers.

This went on for several weeks. The children would prepare simple meals like salads that contained the ingredients they had identified that they liked. They learned how to make nutritious drinks from fruits. Healthy snacks were included, like no-cook granola bars. I spent my evenings searching the web for quick and simple healthy recipes based on the kids’ lists. This went on for several weeks before the children tired of it, but by then they were into the pattern of eating healthy, and the food dilemma was no longer a problem.

This post was written by Lior, who works for Milk Nursingwear, a company that sells nursing sundresses, nursing camisoles and many more nursing wear clothes.

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