Dislike at first taste, sound or sight. A pugged up face, twisted lips with an upside down smile, is usually the sign of a kid being told that he or she is going to eat their vegetables today. Well we have to ask ourselves as parents why that is. Is it cruel and unusual punishment or is it just part of childhood? Two things, first of all research indicates that in my home state of Georgia alone there are nearly one million children who are obese and seventy five percent of those obese children’s parents do not see it as a problem that needs to be addressed. This mis-education or lack of education leads to other obesity related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
Children’s love affair with sweetsand fast food usually proves detrimental to their health because of its addictive nature. Thus the battle begins when most children desire sugary food and desserts over fresh fruits and vegetables which are better for us all. Therefore parents can use the allure of the colorful variety of fruits and veggies to capture the imagination and peak their children’s interest.
Here are 8 helpful tips
1.) Give them stickers as rewards, for eating at least 3 to 5 of a variety fruits and vegetables which research shows supersedes praise.
2.) Lead by example. Parents who love fruits and vegetables tend to have children who love fruits and vegetables.
3.) Make eating fruits and vegetables fun by using favorite cartoon characters that become edible treats by giving them silly names such as Jiggle like a jellyfish fruit jello, ant’s on a stick, Vitamin popsicles, SpongeBob popcorn crunches, angry apparatus and kangaroo kabobs just to name a few.
4.) Allow children to help select fruits and vegetables while shopping creating a colorful basket.
5.) Take them to local farms or farmer markets to teach them that the fruits and vegetables are nature’s vitamins to make them feel better and keep them healthy and strong.
6.) Have children plant seeds, nurture and grow a variety of fruits and vegetables in a container garden and eat the harvest as their sweet reward.
7.) Introduce a new fruit or vegetable at least 10 to15 times so that children get use to the taste and texture and to decide whether they like it or not.
8.) Serve the fruits and vegetables on a larger plate so it appears that they are eating a smaller portion and not feel overwhelmed.
Parents are ultimately responsible for purchasing and preparing the foods that their kids eat, therefore, parents can exercise parental care and control and select foods that will allow their family to be healthy and strong. A happier meal is always served at home. Also, parents can demand that their school provide healthier food selections, such as a fruit and or salad bars. Lastly, as a consumer parents also have the power to demand that companies advertise and provide an appealing nutritional billboard with fun gimmicks on the menu display. All and all it takes family, schools, community and corporations to help children become healthy.
About the Author: Mr. Cardio- Tone is a certified personal trainer, dance and fitness instructor. He offers high energy, high impact cardio workouts using the latest urban line dances. Unlike other workout routines, you will not even feel like you are exercising. Visit http://www.urbanlinedancefitness.com/#bio for more information.