We all know that we should be making healthy food choices. For our children, it is not only about providing healthy food choices but getting them to eat them! Often, children are very picky about what they will eat, and very reluctant about trying new foods. Here are a couple of great resources with ideas that can help make the ‘food battle’ a win-win for everyone.
Resource 1: From the Kids Health website; http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/nutrition-center/
Preschoolers are anything but boring, so why should their food be? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Cut it! Use a cookie cutter to cut cheese, veggies, and sandwiches into fun, irresistible shapes.
- Dip it! Pair slices of fruit, veggies, or whole-wheat crackers with a side of dip. Whether it’s peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, guacamole, salsa, applesauce, or yogurt, everyone loves to dip.
- Create it! Make art out of food. Try apple-wedge flower petals around a kiwi slice for some flower art. Or maybe fun food faces with berry eyes and a banana mouth.
- Sip it! Who says you have to eat a healthy snack? Fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt or milk and fresh fruit are a great way for kids to drink up needed nutrients.
- Crunch it! Low-fat granola and lower-sugar breakfast cereals are good choices. Also try toasted whole-wheat pita wedges for a satisfying crunch without the salt and fat of potato chips.
- Play it! Turn healthy snacking into a game. For example, try making a “food rainbow” on a plate and let your child decide which colors to eat first. Next time, you can do the same with different shapes. Will it be squares or triangles?
LANA is a nutritional curriculum for preschool programs/caregivers. The goal of the LANA Preschool Program is to help young children learn to taste, eat and enjoy more fruits and vegetables in order to promote good health, including healthy weight and reduced risk of chronic disease.
The LANA Program helps children learn to eat more fruits and vegetables by:
- Increasing opportunities for children to taste and eat fruits and vegetables
- Providing opportunities for hands-on experiences with fruits and vegetables
- Creating a supportive environment for eating fruits and vegetables
- Providing children with role models who eat fruits and vegetables
- Connecting classroom or child care activities with their home environment
Have a summer filled with good food and nutrition!