What Is Your Child Eating?
There are many factors to why children should have a well balanced diet. These reasons include having and maintaining a healthy diet, growth, brain development, preventing obesity and developing healthy habits. As parents, whose children are in school, we don’t always know what they are eating. Jamie Oliver, a phenomenon to the world of food, has opened eyes to many school districts, parents and even the government. The significance of his show, Jamie’s School Dinner’s, was to prove that our children were not being served healthy food. The facts were astonishing and disturbing. Jamie found that when kids drink chocolate and strawberry milk every day at school, they’re getting nearly two gallons of extra sugar each year (Food Revolution). This can’t be good! We can change this together. As parents, we can educate and encourage our children about nutrition and healthy eating with fun and simple ways. Some simple tricks to do this are:
Make it fun. You’ve seen the cute pics: pancakes topped with smiley fruit faces, grilled cheese served in cookie-cutter shapes. Taking the time now and then to make healthy foods kid-friendly — even just adding an organic ketchup “swirl” or making up a clever name (“magic beans,” “power peas”) — is always a winner. Is anything dunkable? Offer a little warmed oozy peanut butter, some yogurt to dip her fruit into, or some ranch dressing to go with steamed vegetables.
Work with her/him. Incorporate the healthy stuff into dishes you know your child likes. If s/he loves pizza, try adding pineapple. Got a muffin fan? Make a batch with blueberries or grated zucchini or carrots. Chicken-nugget chomper? Bake them with whole-grain bread crumbs.
Talk it up. A kid couldn’t care less about cholesterol or heart disease, but s/he will take notice if you tell her/him that doughnut won’t give her/him enough energy to climb the jungle gym or keep up with her/his friend in the swimming pool.
Eat it yourself. If you won’t touch anything green, why should they? But if they see you enjoying a big salad or a fish dish, they just may come around (well, eventually) (parenting.com).
“Jamie’s School Dinners.” 2011. JamieOliver.Com. Retrieved: 26 September 2011. <http://www.jamieoliver.com/tv/school-dinners>
“Healthy Schools Program.” 2011. Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Retrieved: 26 September 2011. <http://healthiergeneration.org/schools.aspx?gclid=CKaq95-xpaoCFQ5EgwodmXVGXA>
Dreisbach,Shaun. “How To Get Your Picky Eaters To Try Healthy Foods.” 2011. TheParenting.com Network. Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved: 26 September 2011. <http://www.parenting.com/article/how-to-get-your-picky-eaters-to-try-healthy-foods>