“Our bodies are our gardens our wills are our gardeners.” – William Shakespeare
If we left our kids (most of them) to their own culinary wills, they would eat so many white cheddar cheese puffs, chocolate chip cookies, and fruit snacks, that they would turn into a giant ball of junk food. Even with picky eaters who prefer the unhealthier options, we can teach our kids the importance of well rounded meals.
Even if he doesn’t want to eat it, we encourage our oldest (four-year-old), to take at least one bite of everything we eat as a family. Sometimes there are wins, but most of the time there are a lot of losses. No matter what, we always champion him for trying. He’s proud of just eating one (yes, that’s right), just one black bean, because he hates them, but at least he tries.
In this month’s Kids Night In Box – Nutrition Explorers, my oldest has dived into a food expedition. With every Kids Night In Box, there is a special theme. The Nutrition Explorers box was timely, as we have been working on his eating habits. Jam packed with so many wonderful activities, healthy eating was provided a fun platform my son could easily support.
Eat A Rainbow
The first activity we completed together, as a unit, was the Rainbow Activity sheet. Armed with pastels, we colored in our rainbow and discussed fruits and vegetables that are the same colors. My four-year-old profoundly stated as he colored brown all over the rainbow illustration that the fruits and veggies “turn brown anyway.” I mean…he’s not wrong. The best part of this activity was watching his face light-up as he called our various fruits and veggies. He paced back and forth until the moment he would pause and say, “wait! I know! How about a…a…a…PINEAPPLE?!” It is proudly displayed on our fridge and serves as a reminder to healthy options he can consider when trying to “eat the rainbow.”
One of my favorite classes during my undergrad career was Nutrition. I just found it so interesting and enlightening. I vividly remember sitting down with the My Plate chart to create a meal that satisfied the good fats and cholesterols, dietary needs, etc. With this activity, my son and I filled out our My Plate diagram together. With his crafted binoculars in hand, we examined each provided sticker and placed it appropriately on the plate. He quickly identified was grain, protein, dairy, vegetable, and/or fruit. There were a few items like sushi that teetered between a few areas of the chart – protein, grain, and vegetables. He thought that was hysterical. Once committed to the activity, he quickly took full ownership, telling me what was what. Like our Rainbow Activity sheet, the Explore Nutrition My Plate sheet is proudly displayed on our fridge for the world to see.
Included in this month’s Kids Night In Box is a My Plate Food Journal. It was the first item my son was drawn towards. He immediately flipped through the pages and demanded my husband sit down with him to fill it out. What I love about this journal is that he can track not only his food intake and exercise, but he can rate his dietary choices and experiences. The other night we had fish tacos with black beans, and I’m not going to lie to you, they received a very poor rating from my four-year old. There were a lot of circled unhappy faces; however, with this said, he tried it and determined on his own (not by assumption) that he does not like fish tacos and black beans. Now, every night after dinner, my husband and son sit down together to fill out his journal. It’s pretty funny to see things through the eyes of a preschooler.
I say this every month, but the Kids Night In Box, is the box that keeps on giving. Along with the countless games and activities, each box comes with a hand selected children’s book, applicable to the box, and a snack sample for the kiddos to try. If you are looking for a way to bring the family together or to drive thoughtful thinking between you and your child, this is the perfect subscription service. We LOVE Kids Night In! To get your box CLICK HERE
Here’s a quick question for you – what is your favorite family meal? Let me know in the comments below.
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