By: Anne Mercado, our Guest Blogger this Week
Obesity rates among children are on the rise in both developed and developing countries, which is why teaching the value of healthy eating is needed now more than ever.
Remember how boring math or science classes were? You’d try hard to keep your eyes open but would succumb sleep’s call. Before you know it, you’d nod off into dream land.
Well, that’s probably how your child will feel if you start lecturing her on the benefits of eating right. However, that can be remedied! Want her to be more engaged? Use these tips below.
Here are 8 Entertaining Ways to Teach Your Kids About Healthy Eating:
1. Use printables or games to teach your kids about the 5 food groups
Free printables or interactive free games from Nourish Interactive should do the trick.
2. STAR of the week
Choose a veggie or fruit, list down 7 health benefits and teach your child about one for every day of the week. For older kids, you may also choose a food group to focus on each week.
3. Have veggie and fruit-themed activities
This can be an added activity for the previous number. Here’s how: look for activities (drawing or coloring), videos and pictures of your chosen STAR of the week for your kid. This should drill in the point and make for fun learning.
4. Play a game
Playnormous.com is site dedicated to teaching kids all about health. They have a game called Lunch Crunch that will help your child understand the concept of healthy eating basics such as fruits, non-fruits, vegetables, non-vegetables, etc. Oh, sign-up is free.
5. Silly Creatures
The best and most engaging activity you can do with your child is a live visual presentation on how the digestive system works. No cutting up of animals required especially if you have one of the Silly Creatures.
Dr. Deborah Gilboa of AskDoctorG.com uses K-BEU Dad plush toy to show her young patients what happens when food is eaten. Emphasis is placed on the importance eating, since the food goes into the digestive tract and gets absorbed by the body.
Your kid will love the idea of being able to see what happens after food is swallowed. She can even feed the toy and follow the “pebble” down to the very end of the digestive tract. This sure beats learning from a book or computer!
Feeding K-BEU Mom
Exploring K-BEU Dad's digestive tract
6. Play food BINGO
If you have other kids around this is perfect. The first one to complete a row of the same food group or a balanced meal wins. For instructions on how to play food bingo, click on the link and scroll down towards the middle.
7. Create interesting healthy food
Instead of handing your kid plain old boring fruits, introduce them to new (and easy recipes) to encourage healthy eating.
How do Banana, honey ricotta and blueberry muffins sound?
8. Explain serving sizes in a clever way using simple objects
An article from EHow.com suggests to cut a tennis ball down the middle and present half of it to your child so she understands what a half cup serving looks like. Use dice to demonstrate that each piece is equivalent to 1 ounce.
You can teach your child about healthy eating by using a lot of creative ways. Of course by modeling good behavior and involving your kiddo in buying, preparing and cooking healthy meals, you pass on a valuable lesson to her: the importance health. This is one of the best ways to fight obesity.
Visit Anne Mercado’s blog at Green Eggs & Moms for more clever tips to keep moms with young kids SANE.