So...how do your kids eat? Do they love healthy food, or do they barely recognize it? My little guy loves fruit, but he isn't very partial to veggies. This summer I took him to my great aunt's garden and let him "harvest" some squash and zucchini hoping that he would take some ownership in the growing process and want to eat what he picked. He definitely took ownership--to this day he points to squash and zucchini and says, "I picked that for you!" Unfortunately his next words are always, "YOU eat it. That's yucky."
Did my husband and I do this? I don't think so. We are both adventurous eaters and there is a strict no-criticizing-food rule in our household. Regardless, it's not who is at fault that matters, it's what to do now. How do we get the little guy to eat a healthier diet?
I am a magazine junkie, and in the October issue of Parents Magazine there is an interesting article about Dr. Brian Wansink's ideas on that topic. You may have already read this, but if not, here are some points that piqued my interests in particular:
1. Dr. Wansink puts a lot of stock into the presentation of food and drinks. He serves water in huge glasses and juices in tall, thin ones. The idea with the water is that we drink more of what we have in ample supply. The juice in the tall, thin glass appears to be larger than a short glass, and though there is less juice in the tall glass it is visually more satisfying.
2. On that same note, he serves desserts, sweets, and snacks in small, cute bowls. He fills them to the top, and visually it looks like the kids are getting a big serving.
3. He uses funny names for common foods, like "X-Ray Vision Carrots," "Power Peas," and "Dinosaur Trees (Broccoli)." He claims that in his studies kids ate twice the amount of veggies when they had funny names.
4. More color matters. Just like in a study where kids ate more M&M's if they were in assorted colors, kids also eat more veggies in assorted colors, eg. assorted peppers instead of only green ones.
So, what do you think? Do you have any ideas for encouraging a healthy diet in your home? What do you think of Wansink's ideas? I would love to hear from you!