Just because it's the start of the year doesn't mean that you should be the only making changes to eat healthier. Kids can also learn healthy eating habits too. These past few months have been a lot of fun as I've had the opportunity to teach cub scouts. I love it even more because my little boy is one of those cub scouts. The boys have so much energy and love learning. When Choose My Plate came along replacing the Food Guide Pyramid, it was a no brainer to teach the boys how to eat healthier.
The only problem? How do you get kids to listen?
I've learned, especially with boys, that learning through activity is critical. Teaching kids healthy eating habits has to click with them. And it has to be fun.
To get started, go to ChooseMyPlate.gov. There are great resources to print out and teach kids.
For additional teaching materials, go to SuperHealthyKids.com. They have a vast resource of plates, printables, and lesson plans made for teaching kids. I love this site as a resource above and beyond ChooseMyPlate. Both owners of the site are nutrition educators and have children of their own.
Once you've established how to teach healthy eating, it's time to do some hands on learning.
For the first part of our activity we talked about healthy eating, what the boys should be eating and examples of what a typical meal should look like.
For the second part of our activity, I had the boys do some hands on cooking. They made whole wheat pretzels and cheese sauce and we had some carrot sticks and apples to go with it.
While the pretzels cooked, the boys worked on the third part of our activity--building a healthy meal using the ChooseMyPlate guidelines. To pass off their requirement, they had to show me a meal that they created with playdoh that met all the ChooseMyPlate guidelines. The boys had a great time and created everything from spaghetti with whole wheat noodles to salad to sushi with spaghetti squash. We even had vegetable pizza with pepperoni.
Of course, then their was my son who made a meal and included dessert. "We always have to have something sweet after dinner to end our day sweetly."
Whole Wheat Pretzel Recipe from Fifteen Spatulas
Healthy Cheese Sauce Recipe from Eating Well
30 Minute Apple Pie Pretzels from BurntApple