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Preventing Childhood Obesity With A Fun, Easy Way To Eat Vegetables

Arranged Vegetables Creating a FaceI have an 18 year old daughter who to this day does not like cooked carrots. I couldn’t figure it out, when she was a baby she ate all kinds of vegetables in the form of baby food. But as she grew older  probably around the age of 5 or 6 cooked carrots became this horrible thing.

One day while preparing a meal with carrots  she grabbed a raw one. They were baby carrots, which I love and often times eat as a snack. She loved them. I stood looking at her in shock. You like them! I said to her, you like your carrots raw? She smiled up at me with this little cutie pie face and said “Yes, mommy.”  I don’t know why but at the time it never dawned on me to feed her raw carrots as a part of a hot meal.  At the time it didn’t make sense to me to have both raw and cooked vegetables on the same dinner plate. In my mind all of the food should be hot unless you’re eating a salad before the meal.

I had to open my mind and thinking and think about what was the ultimate goal that I was trying to accomplish. That goal was to get her to eat healthy foods and one of those foods was vegetables namely carrots. From then on I started to think creatively about how I could get her to eat fruits and vegetables and drink adequate amounts of water.

One of the techniques that I used when she was a baby that helped when she was a little older was to have her eat airplane food. I would put the food on the spoon and it would fly around on top of the spoon with these sound effects of an airplane flying around and then into her mouth. She thought the sound effects were great and it really worked well.

One great idea that I got from http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov is “Delicious Dippers”. It’s under Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits: 10 tips for making healthy foods more fun for children. They talk about how kids love to dip their foods which is true. I notice this a lot in my preschools. They suggest that you make a quick dip for vegetables with yogurt and seasonings like herbs or garlic. The vegetables that they suggested were broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I find that cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes depending on the age of the child and red peppers are great too.

I find that kids really love the act of dipping and often just love eating with their fingers anyway. You can also change it up a bit and use yogurt with cinnamon or vanilla dip with fruit chunks. Eating doesn’t have to be a bore and a chore we can make it fun and interesting too. Please share your healthy recipes for preschoolers and young children that have worked for you. I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below. You can also share this with your friends and family on social media, email or whatever works for you.

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