Helping Families Get Healthy: Tip #2
By Nurse Kimberly
Okay families, are you ready for Tip #2? If your family has mastered my Helping Families Get Healthy Tip #1- No More Liquid Calories then congratulations! If you are still working on Tip #1, don’t give up! Change takes time, but I know you will get there just like I did.
In order to be ready for Tip #2 you need to have and open mind and be willing to try new things. Many dieticians I have spoken with have shared that many kids eat the same foods every week. Some kids are only able to name a handful of foods when asked what they have for breakfast or dinner.
Kids need help in developing their palate. In fact, many adults need help with this too. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I became a little adventurous with food. When I was growing up I ate the same foods all of the time and wasn’t exposed to many new things. Instead of having a colorful plate it was mainly a “beige plate”. You know pasta, bread, fries, potatoes….beige, beige, and more beige! Beige plates are not healthy plates, especially for a child who is growing and developing.
Tip #2 will help your family avoid a recipe book filled with beige plates. It will also help you with your menu selection when you are at a restaurant. The best part is it might prevent your family from developing neophobia!
Tip #2- Color Your Plate
The first step in coloring your plate is knowing what to color it with. Put My Family Plate’s ABCD plate technique to memory and you will be set. Once you know what types of food to color your plate with, pick one new meal your family has never eaten before. Go shopping for the ingredients, prepare the meal as a family, and last enjoy the meal together. At first, make time to do this at least once a week. If schedules allow do it as often as you can.
Here are some suggestions for getting started once you know the ABCD plate technique. Kids love activities and projects. If you have a picky eater, let him or her help pick out a new vegetable or fruit. Give your child a job in the kitchen. Delegating your child the responsibility of choosing a new food and letting them assist with the cooking helps them become more comfortable with trying new things. It makes the process FUN! You will be amazed at what foods kids will eat if you don’t make a chore out of it. Turn it into an exciting experience.
Start Tip #2 this week. Find a new recipe. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or gourmet. Let your kids offer some suggestions. At the grocery store let everyone be a part of looking at the foods you are buying for the recipe. This introduces new foods to the whole family. Turn your shopping experience into a “food mission”, and remember have fun. Share your colorful plates with me below and our friends on FACEBOOK! I love hearing new healthy recipe ideas.
Happy Cooking Families:)