Making Healthy Eating ‘Fun’…

“Kids are going to eat what’s available, and parents have to take responsibility,” says Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services at the Berkeley Unified School District and co-author of “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children” (Collins, 2006).

She, too, recommends lots of fruit and vegetables, but says there are ways to gussy up an apple or a nectarine that them more fun to eat. Colorful smoothies and fruit kebabs – cut-up pieces of melon, peaches, plums, pears or berries on a skewer, with a yogurt dipping sauce – make healthful foods seem more like special treats.

The above excerpt from this article titled Snack Attack really struck me as odd and I think is one of the reasons why kids are having problems with healthy eating.

When you have to make healthy eating more ‘fun’ so that your kids will eat fruit and vegetables, then you know you really have problems. I remember when I was a kid, I really loved fruit except papaya and I certainly hated vegetables. I never really liked eating the stuff but my mom solved that problem really easy. She let us know really quickly that unless we finished up our vegetables, we could not leave the table. It was a simple as that.

Well over the years, I actually started to develop a liking for vegetables and now I will gladly eat them anytime… well most vegetables…

But going back to the ‘fun’ eating. If kids have to eat ‘fun’ fruit at least once a day, how many days will the ‘fun’ remain fun? I can imagine the kid saying “Mom, it used to be fun eating this ‘fun’ stuff here but now its no longer fun, so I am not eating fruit again”. I would suggest that parents need to step up and simply tell the kids, “unless you finish the fruit and veggies, you don’t leave the table.”

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