As we wrap up our series of blog posts dedicated to National Nutrition Month, I want to bring attention to the kids. Our kids get some nutrition education in school but it is really important that we educate them at home about purchasing and preparing healthy foods. Kids need to be in the kitchen with you to see what you are doing (even if it is heating up a hot dog in the microwave) and learn about various foods, cooking methods, and what is entailed with getting dinner on the table. Here are some quick tips to get kids involved:
1) Make it fun for them. I know that this can be challenging when you are in a hurry and just trying to get food on the table. The last thing you want is more dishes to clean or another body in your way in the kitchen. Find a simple task in the kitchen that can involve the kids in some way shape or form. My kids love to throw together items for a fruit salad, add the toppings on a salad, or help cut up the cucumber for their vegetable appetizer.
2) Keep it simple. Show the kids that making healthy, nutritious and delicious meals does not involve a great deal of work. Give them a recipe that includes a couple ingredients that they mix together such as trail mix, homemade granola, or muffins.
3) Talk to them about nutrition. As you are shopping for the foods or preparing the foods, talk to your kids about why you are choosing those foods. Educate your kids as much as you can about the importance of balancing all foods and bringing in as much color through fruits and vegetables. The more that you talk to your kids about good nutrition being a priority to you, then the more of a priority it will become to them and throughout their life.
Remember, it only takes a few minutes to bring the kids into the kitchen but it can have a lasting impact on them. This week-think of a way you can bring your kids into the kitchen to help out!