- Are you confident you can eat healthy food at school?
- Eat a healthy snack between school and dinner?
- Eat healthy food or choose a healthy snack when with friends?
- Eat healthy food when eating dinner with the family?
- Choose a healthy snack when alone at home?
- Choose a healthy snack when bored or sad?
So what does all this mean for our health?Well, clearly we need to involve our kids more in the meal preparation process. The findings are clear. More involvement is associated with healthier food choices. And healthier food choices lead to healthier kids.
Here are some useful tips to increase kid participation in the kitchen.
- Instead of family movie night, do family cooking night. Use cool tools in the kitchen, like a vegetable spiralizer to make “zoodles” or noodles made from zucchini. There are also safer, kid-friendly knives you can buy.
- Bring it to the bedtime story. Read books with your children about healthy eating and nutrition.
- Make it educational and interesting. Make it a game. Take your kid to the grocery store and ask him/her to pick the veggie for the night. The more you can involve them, the better.
- Plant a garden with them. Kids like to get dirty outside, right? And they may find it fascinating to see where these beautiful, colorful healthy foods come from.
- Tell them why it is important to eat healthy. “Because I said so” is not as meaningful as because this will help prevent you from getting sick, this will help you run better, this will help you maybe when you have a family one day, this will make you feel less tired and this will make that cut or scrape heal faster.
- Watch what you say. Your kid can hear you when you say, “I’m so sick of eating salad!” Get creative and find alternatives to salad. Maybe make a collard wrap instead. If you are happy with your eating, your child will likely be happy with their eating.