The fun side of healthy food
Sometimes parents get a little worried about their kids eating habits, specially when they tend do be a little more selective with what they eat. It is very common, specially when he/she starts to know diferent kinds of food and tend to refuse fruits and vegetables.
Kingdom Kids in a common work with Menu Infantil, brought up “Mini Chef” Project, to awake to the importance of a balanced and healthier diet.
In a fun way, they taste new flavors, exploring colors, shapes and the effect of food in order to keep body working well.
Rafaela Rangel, nutricionist in charge of Menu Infantil, conducted the first workshop – one of the several experiences of this kind that we intend to have this year – and kindly brought us some tips on how to keep good eating habits, so important to a healthy growth, with pleasure.
Which is the proper meaning of balanced diet?
In a few words, is an adequate food, in terms of quantity and quality. That means, a varied and balenced diet, colorful, mixing natural and wholemeal products, consumed in moderate portions.
Some people say that the perfect meal is the colorful one. What should not be missing from the meal?
The more colorful, the better!
But it is important to focus that it is importante that the meal have dark green vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minererals such as calcium, potassium, vitamins K, E and folic acid.
I would like to reinforce the importance of this kind of vegetables with great benefits for health and are not commonly present in meals. They usually have a bitter taste, which make kids reject this kind of food. One suggestion is to introduce this kind of vegetables not only in salad, but also in cooked meals, like beans, vegetables and meat as well in juices, that get enriched and do not change the taste of it.
Are there any strategies to a healthy meal without suffering?
The first strategy is set the example. Parents are the main example for the kids and they tend to copy them in many details. If parents usally make healthy food choices, kids will normally do the same. The more familiar they are with healthy food, the better their diet will be.
As far as the child gets conscious about a healthy diet, he/she is going to choose something that already know. If is used to eat fruits and vegetables daily, these are going to be his/her natural choices. But, if they only see bread and milk, daily, on the breakfast table, tend to avoid fruit, for example.
We could also observe that children that took part on cookling and food preparation have a better relation with food and eat better. Since they know what are eating, tend not to reject it.
It is important that parents develop, with their kids, a habit of taste the food they usually eat. This moment should be praised, making child comfortable. That means, if he/she rejects the food presented, do not have to eat it. If the child doesn’t like it, this food should be presented in other moment, in same or different preparation. This way, the boy or the girl will adapt his/her taste to different flavours and will feel confident to taste new food, knowing that is going to like some, others not.
Finally, it is very importante to avoid processed food, with excess of sugar. This behaviour affects directly the taste and the apetite of ours kids. If they already been presented, limit the quantity and frequency of them. If they are not part of that child’s diet, try to make this habit as long as possible.
What should we do when they have selective eating? How can we convince those kids to taste fruits and vegetables?
Persuasion is quite related to those questions arised previously. Set an example is always the best way, as well as as gain their confidence. Talk apout the food presented is a valid point. Is we have something sour , it should be treated just as it is, and not as “it tastes bad”, just because it is sour. It is simply sour, no more than this.
Just as there are preferences to sweet food, some people could prefer spicy, bitter and sour flavours. Encourage the tasting without making a judgment of what are they eating. This way, the child will feel free to form his/her own preferences and tastes.
Seleticve eating is directly related to what the child arealdy know. A good way to persuase them to try new flavours is present food through workshops, with different preparation and presentaion. Try not to use “he/she does not like this or that”. Use creativity to ensure the necessary intakes of the essential nutrientes and include them on soups, beans, cakes, pies and juices. This way, the food they tend to refuse are “disguised” and will be eaten. But remember to use other strategies in parallel in order to improve a balanced diet.
Keep Updated about Glenn Doman’s Method!
How is the method? What its theoretical basis?
The method aims to encourage development of baby and children on their first six years, using materials and specific activities, adapted to all children.
Its theoretical basis is founded on studies and of the researches developed with a Multidisciplinary Group on IHAP (initials of Glenn Doman’s Institute in Philadelphia – USA), that observed learning mechanisms and understood that on the first six months of life the human brain has a great potential of development and that capacity will never be repeated in other stages of life.
Glenn Doman’s Method enhances the stimuli retention and, consequently, the development of intelligence (cognitive capacity).
How is applied?
With proper materials, called flashcards, which are divided into Bits of Intelligence, cards and dots.
The flashcards are shown three times a day, following the necessary dynamic to method’s application. Frequency, intensity and duration are the key points of the cognitive stimulation must follow three basic requirements: be precise, discreet and clear.
How is the acceptance?
Babies and children love, because are always stimulated in a fun, pleasurable and recreational manner. This way, children’s learning is developed.
What are the advantages of these stimuli in early childhood?
Early childhood becomes the most important to the development of learning process, once brain’s capacity development is determined on the first six years and in any other period of life it is going to be leveled to this age range.
“There is simply no question of the fact that a child, far from being an inferior, small-size adult, is in fact in many ways superior to grownups and that not the least of these ways is their almost uncanny faculty to absorb languages.”