Healthy Food Choices
As every mom knows children can do wonders with an old shoe box. So they had five and four years my children had a hole on the lid of one of these boxes and there had been various types of cereals they had all called “Mama O.” What impressed me most was the nutrition facts table they had reproduced in the back of their cereal box indicating the content in calories fat, sugar and fiber. I was happy to see so young they were interested in food. They knew that a healthy diet was important for me and they had often seen me read nutrition labels on products in the grocery store. They offered me their cereal box for Mother’s Day gift and it remains my example to demonstrate the influence that we have to educate our children to eat healthily.
How to be encouraged and encourage our children to make healthy food choices, assessing the quality and the habit of eating healthy for life? To start here are some ideas and life lessons that I used with my own children.
By the Grocery Store Explain And Share Information
The grocery store or market can be a good public classroom to teach nutrition. Teach toddlers and young children colors and names of fruits and vegetables. When they are older ask them to help you choose apples or a pound of mushrooms. My daughter knows how to pick pears in season. It takes some softer consume immediately and others firmer to ripen on the counter.
Give Them a Challenge
At home you can encourage your teens or pre teens to read the ingredients and nutritional content of the tables. Teach them to compare foods to make healthier choices. Ask them for example to compare the amounts of fiber and sugar their favorite cereal with others. Explain that each person needs to consume more fiber to stay healthy and must reduce the amount of sugar. In the case of soups and sauces for pasta the kids and I have the habit of checking the sodium content before you purchase and we choose products lower in sodium which we enjoy the taste.
Train Their Taste Buds
My kids love pasta but when I prepared orzo a paste-like grains of rice they did not know if they would enjoy it because they had never seen or ever tasted before. I explained that the orzo is made of the same ingredients as spaghetti and they just another form such as macaroni, fusilli or pinnate. Learn all about the origin and mode of food production. Invite them to chat with their friends their neighbors and schoolmates special foods that are consumed in various cultural events.
Young children especially love this game Discuss the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide. They have probably learned at school. When you prepare a meal or snack for the family intentionally forget to include one of four groups. For example, when you prepare a chicken sandwich forget the glass of milk or fruit. Then ask the children to find the missing group. And ask them to add a food group missing for a more balanced meal.
Give Them The Role Of Scullion
It is always gratifying to observe how children develop their skills and confidence in the kitchen. Younger children can wash grapes undo salad leaves or measure simple ingredients. Older children can cut the bread prepare the vinaigrette or use a ladle to serve portions. We prepare the recipes together we evaluate the terms of taste and appearance and we add to our list of recipes weekly.
Encourage Culinary Creativity
Cooking is largely an experimental variety of foods and flavors variety. So have a good supply of ingredients and allow children to use their imagination. To prepare snacks after school my children make their own trail mix seasoned taste. My son uses low sodium pretzels and daughter adds a handful of mini chocolate chips. To nutritionally these snacks are superior to chips or ice cream. Instead of using the bag of popcorn ready for microwave oven my son discovered how to cook the corn kernels in a brown bag in microwave oven and adds its own seasonings. It is always surprised that her corn is much better than the grocery store!