Perhaps one of the hardest aspect about being a parent is teaching your children about the importance of selecting healthy food choices. Right now I’m really struggling with trying to encourage xander to eat more vegetables. Three can be such a hard age!
Did you know only 22% of children between the ages of 4 to 8 years eat their daily serving of vegetables? This percentages decreases with age, as only 5% of 14-16 year old teens eat their daily allowance of vegetables. Federal guidelines recommend between 1 to 2.5 cups of fruit and 1 to 4 cups of vegetables daily, depending upon your child’s age, gender and level of physical activity. So just how do you help your picky toddler or preschooler learn to love fruits and vegetables?
Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat More Vegetables
1. When children are invested in every process of the eating experience, they are more likely to try new foods. Involve your child in meal planning and writing a list of necessary food items. Preschoolers can help you search through the cupboards to determine what you have at home, while creating a shopping list. Once at the grocery store or local farmers market, engage your child in conversation about the foods you see. Also, give them a short list of items they are to look for. Shopping is a great time to focus on language concepts, such as matching the pictures to the actual objects, labeling the fruits and vegetables, and identification of colors, shapes, sizes, and categories (fruits vs vegetables).
2. Evidence shows that children eat more vegetables and fruit when parents eat these foods regularly. Encourage your child to eat more vegetables, by doing so yourself. Grab an apple for a mid afternoon snack and fill your plate up with a wide variety of colorful vegetables at the dinner table. As all parents know, children learn good and bad habits through watching others. They often learn best by watching their peers.
The Copy-Kids DVD, Kids Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables is a great tool for encouraging your children to eat healthier. The DVD is geared for children aged 6 months to 5 years and encourages positive eating habits in young children, by watching and copying other kids. The video consists of 12 chapters, each one focusing on a different fruit or vegetable. It is filmed with no narration, so it’s just a child at a table eating a fruit or vegetable and talking. Each child is even introduced by another child, which is pretty adorable! The preschool children in the video have some pretty cute comments and reactions to the food on their plate. The DVD also includes an on-camera discussion about healthy eating with renowned pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon, plus a section of delightful outtakes.
Xander just loves this video and it really has encouraged him to be more adventurous with trying new vegetables. He recently started eating raw broccoli and carrots, after watching his friends on the video. He even loved it so much he wanted to make his very own Copy Kids video. Talk about a multidimensional learning tool!
Help your child learn to eat more vegetables by checking out the Copy Kids DVD and enter to win a copy for yourself. You may also want to download this free child friendly shopping list printable, so your child can help shop for fruits and vegetables (the list are those that are featured in the video).
Looking for more information about helping your child build positive relationships with food and be less of a picky eater? Check out these interesting posts and articles:
* Guest Post Pediatrician Dr. Deborah Gilboa offers advice on how to cope with the picky eater battle.
* My top ten mealtime tips for Feeding Children Who are Picky Eaters.
* Get in the kitchen with your children with these simple recipes for picky eaters
* Use this fruit and vegetable calculator to determine just how many servings of the good stuff your child should be eating.
One lucky reader will win a Copy-Kids Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables and a $25.00 gift card to Whole Foods Market to stock the fridge with fruits and vegetables for your child to try! a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was sponsored by Copy-Kids Media, who helped me cover expenses to my trip to BlogHer12.