Please Pass the Vegetables
kids to eat healthy foods
Want to call a truce at those dinner-table battles? You can by taking a
fresh approach in getting your children to eat well. Mix a little child
psychology with creativity and you've got a recipe for good nutrition
with less anxiety.
First, involve children in preparation of meals. "Tell
your children food always tastes better when they help," advises
Hasbro Children's Hospital dietitian Barbara Robinson. They love
to add ingredients or roll out dough. Keep the tasks simple,
like scrubbing vegetables or sprinkling grated cheese. Another
smooth move from Robinson--occasionally ask your child: "Do you
think we should have a red vegetable like tomatoes or a green
one like broccoli?" It's a win-win situation.
Next, disguise vegetables. You can camouflage cauliflower
with cheese or conceal a carrot with brown sugar glaze.
Dressings or salsa make veggies more appetizing to youngsters.
Be a good role model. If you turn up your nose at
turnips, children will follow suit. Turn off the TV, sit down
for meals, and when it come to snacking, grab an apple instead
of chips. If you eat well, your offspring eventually will pick
up the habit.
One last piece of advice: the old adage "breakfast is the most
important meal" is still true. Kids need to re-fuel after not eating for
up to 12 hours. "Studies show that children perform better in school if
they've eaten a balanced breakfast," says Robinson. Today's breakfast
foods are easier than ever to fix, even for grade-schoolers. Instant
oatmeal, cereals and microwave pancakes will help get your youngsters
get off to great start.