Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kids Will Eat Healthy Foods

Previously I shared a story with you about how I am always trying to get my daughter to try and eat something different. Preferably, I would like her to eat healthy of course.

If you read the earlier post, you would get to read the story about taking her out and trying to get her to eat shrimp tempura, just to try something different. She insisted on not trying it until the waitress suggested she try it because her son happened to love it.

Needless to say, after the waitress suggestion went in, she tried it and loved it. In fact, it is safe to say that is now her favorite thin to order when we go out to that restaurant.

I chalked up the experience to my little girl's tendency to challenge my wife and I, and to say no even when she doesn't know why. It seems pretty typical and I'm sure I'm not the only parent out there who has experienced it.

I didn't really think much about it again until I came across a news story about a couple of grade schools that have implemented a new program as part of their curriculum. These schools have decided to gradually introduce the kids in their classes to healthy eating choices. A couple times a week, a parent will volunteer and bring to the class a selection of one new fruit and one new vegetable choice. For example, the most recent contribution was raspberries and cucumbers.

Apparently, the results from introducing these foods to the kids has been quite positive. Kids who normally would shun the various fruit or vegetable, is discovering that they like it. There have been countless occasions where the teacher has asked the students if they had these foods before or if they liked them. Most kids, would answer by saying they never tried certain fruits and veggies because they figured those kinds of foods were not for them. Simply put, they didn't like them.

Something more important appears to be coming out of the study. Many of the kids had a history of resisting attempts by their parents to get them to eat these foods but when it was introduced to them at school, there wasn't nearly as much resistance. I think there is definitely something to be said about that.

It would appear that kids are more inclined to try something new when introduced to it by someone other than a parent. Almost as if to say, they don't have anything to prove to these third party people, therefore there is no need to resist. By introducing kids to great foods by way of a third party, suddenly kids are finding out that they can love healthy food choices too.

It stands to reason then that if you are struggling to get your kid to make healthy food choices, better you try to get a school program started or pay a quick visit to your local sushi bar because your kid may just be waiting to discover a whole menu of great foods on their horizon.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

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