Eating healthy food can be a hard to sell to kids. When youngsters are constantly pandered sugared, salted and highly processed, addictive snacks, nutritious meals are often met with ‘ew,’ ‘yuck’ or ‘I don’t eat green things’. But with the right framing, eating healthy can become a fun and healthy habit they take into adulthood. Here are some fun and effective ways to convince kids that eating healthy is what all the cool kids do!
1. Give Food Personality
Fast food marketers have been using language to hawk their products to children for years, so why not use the same method with healthy food? Discuss the powers of the healthy food on the plate with the kids in your life, and personify each food with a superhero name, like like Broccoli Super Trees or Braniac Beans. Help your kids feel ownership over their meals by including their names in the presentation, like Kate’s Krispy Kale Salad or Oscar’s Outrageous Oatmeal.
2. Play With Your Food
Kids love to cook, so get them in the kitchen to make some delicious dishes! Kids won’t balk at five cups of spinach in the blender as long as they get to flip the switch or whir the fruit into a delicious green smoothie. Try freezing leftover smoothies into popsicles or delicious banana ice cream pops. Make happy face plates out of strategically placed food, or these adorable turtle shaped bread loaves. Show kids how to make popular Goldfish crackers the healthy way at home, or much healthier Eggplant Fries. Getting kids involved with kid-friendly food prep is a sure fire way to get them invested in the kinds of foods they eat!
3. Talk It Out
While you’re playing and revealing in the awesome power of healthy food, don’t forget to let kids know the dangers of processed junk food, too. It’s a tough job to fight the shiny, sparkly marketing to kids in the grocery store, but use the power of technology for good and make healthy food choices fun for kids with downloadable apps like Fooducate. Kids can scan product labels and Fooducate will grade each item for nutritional value. That cartoon character on the box won’t look so cool with a giant F score! Help kids trace the foods they eat back to it’s origins and point out that the easier it is to do, the healthier the food! Good food doesn’t have extensive ingredient lists!
4. Grow and Eat
A garden is one of the very best ways to get kids excited about eating healthy food! Try making a Parts of A Plant Salad, by letting kids select an edible root, stem, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds from the garden. Chop them into a delicious salad with some light lemon/olive oil dressing and watch kids gobble it up!
Do you have any other tips for getting kids to eat healthy food while having fun in the process? Share in the comments!
Image source: Woodley Wonder Works