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Rainbow Blog

06 May 2011

Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters

posted by: Kia

I wrote this post as a participant in the Eat, Play, Love blog carnival hosted by Meals Matter and Dairy Council of California to share ideas on positive and fun ways to teach children healthy eating habits. A list of other registered dietitians and moms who are participating in the carnival will be listed at the bottom of this post or can be found on Meals Matter.

Raising healthy eaters is easy to do when you get your kids involved with the food they eat! I think the key to success is to make food and everything to do with it a fun experience because let’s face it kids are all about fun!!! 

When my daughter was a baby I’d let her play with food,  for example she would sit in her high chair and have a great time exploring an avocado.  Feeling the bumpy texture of the skin with her little fingers, bringing it to her nose to smell it, smearing it around her tray like a painting, it usually ended up all over her face and in her hair!  As much as possible we encouraged her to feed herself so that she would get to explore get to know her food…is was a messy fun filled experience!

Fun with Food Blueberry Face

Now that she’s older she helps out with every aspect of our family meals.  We plan meals together, she helps write out our shopping list, she gets her own little cart to fill at the store and is our produce picker at the farmers market.  After years of “playing” in the kitchen she is now quite comfortable with a knife and helps to prep our fruits and veggies.  We made a casserole last night and I didn’t have to chop a single vegetable :)   Our new mission….we are growing a garden this year!

Chop chop   Peeling Apples

My advice to parents is to let food be a fun hands on learning experience!

1. Let your babies play with their food!  Watch them explore their food and engage their 5 senses!
2. When time permits, take your children grocery shopping, let them help you pick out a rainbow of fruits and veggies!
3. Trust them with tasks in the kitchen – it’s the only way they’ll learn and gain skills.  Get them washing the produce, ripping lettuce, cutting soft things with plastic knives and working their way up to using a real knife, setting the table, and doing other jobs that help boost their confidence in the kitchen!

I think it’s important that we engage our children in the entire process of their food.  Learning where it comes from and how it grows.  Helping to select, prepare and cook it. This gives parents the opportunity to have great chats about why we choose healthy foods for our bodies and how the choices we make effect us and the whole planet!  By setting healthy habits at a young age we are giving our children the skills they will need to make wise choices later in life.

Happy Healthy Eating!
Kia

Don't stop here! Join the carnival and read other Eat, Play, Love blogs from dietitians and moms offering the best advice on raising healthy eaters. And if you don't get enough today, for more positive, realistic and actionable advice from registered dietitian moms, register for the free, live webinar Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on Wednesday, May 18.

The Best-Kept Secret for Raising Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD
Feeding is Love, Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Veggies with Maximum Flavor, Dayle Hayes, MS, RD
The Art of Dinnertime, Elana Natker, MS, RD
Children Don’t Need a Short Order Cook, Christy Slaughter
Cut to the Point – My Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley
Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD
Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson
Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear Gets Them Cooking, Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD
Kids that Can Cook Make Better Food Choices, Glenda Gourley
Making Mealtime Fun, Nicole Guierin, RD
My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along? , Kristine Lockwood
My Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters: Eat Like the French, Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
Picky Eaters  Will Eat Vegetables, Theresa Grisanti, MA
Raising a Healthy Eater, Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Putting the Ease in Healthy Family Eating, Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD
Raising Healthy Eaters Blog Carnival & Chat Roundup, Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
Soccer Mom Soapbox, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Teenagers Can Be Trying But Don’t Give UpDiane Welland MS, RD
What My Kids Taught Me About Eating Mindfully, Michelle May, MD

is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Kia is passionate about creating tools that help parents raise healthy kids!

 

18 Responses to “Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters”

  1. [...] Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN   Kid-Friendly Kitchen [...]

  2. Love seeing your daughter prepping vegetables and fruits in the kitchen. This is exactly what I wrote about for the blog carnival and what I tell parents to do.

  3. [...] Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN   Kid-Friendly Kitchen [...]

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  6. Love your post! Clearly time spent together preparing food is time well spent- your daughter is adorable and I dare say she has better knife skills than I do. What wonderful memories and meals you’re creating together. Thanks for being a part of our Carnival!

  7. [...] Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson [...]

  8. [...] Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN Kid-Friendly Kitchen [...]

  9. So true! Showing a child where food comes from — especially visiting a farm or garden — can be a powerful predictor of their attitude toward healthy eating for life!

  10. [...] Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear [...]

  11. Gina says:

    Great advice, Kia! The more involved our kids are with their food, the more likely they are to eat it!

  12. [...] Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN Kid-Friendly Kitchen [...]

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Our whole family is using the chart and eating our rainbows and it helped us all eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies yesterday - something my picky eaters and I have not done in a very long time!...Read More - Lisa C.-

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