Nutrition 101 for Kids
Now’s a great time to teach kids about nutritionBy FamilyFeatures.com
With many parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.
Consider these suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company, and find additional kid-friendly recipes at dole.com.
Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious. The Almond Toast recipe below can be an easy and fun way to introduce fruits or berries that may be new to children.
Hold a pretend dinner
Many households have some kind of play food, such as plastic fruit. Use it to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent and grow into little helpers at family mealtime.
A feely-fruit box
One idea that can work for school or at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside, then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it.
Food groups focus
Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented. Give them a warmup activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance.
Explain hygiene routines
Make sure to explain that by washing hands before meals kids will wash away germs and stay healthy. Proper handwashing is especially critical now, and you can find plenty of resources available for parents at cdc.gov. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities.
Here's an easy and fun way to introduce fruits or berries that may be new to children.
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