Teach Them Young - Kids and Real Food

I am not an expert on getting kids to eat healthy and wholesome foods. I only have one child and he's not one yet. I do, however, have a niece that loves a wide range of foods, especially healthy alternatives. Her name is Reese and she's the bomb dot com. She's a sweet little spunky spunkster and I adore her interest in all things healthy. She loves to ask... "is this healthier than that?" "is it healthy to eat honey?" She never stops asking questions. Bring on all the health questions. Save your other ponderings for your mother.

If the recipe calls for like an unhealthy ingredient we can just replace it with something healthier
— Reese

Gummy Bears, Almond Brownies, and Homemade Lotion with a spunky 8 year old --fun things happened!  You will thoroughly enjoy the footage below.

 

Healthy Cooking Night as a Reward

I promised Reese a night of healthy treats and cooking together if she completed a reading workbook I gave her. She also scored extra high in reading before Christmas break, so thought it would be a great reward for her efforts. We had this planned for at least 6 weeks and she enjoyed throwing ideas out there and talking about what we could make. When planning, she said, "If the recipe calls for like an unhealthy ingredient we can just replace it with something healthier" 
Exactly! What wisdom! 

The Menu
We started really simple with three easy recipes....
Gummy Bears
Almond Butter Brownies
Vanilla Coconut Lotion

Gummy Bears
She was really excited about the $10 gummy silicone molds I ordered. What kid wouldn't be? It was pretty fun to use the droppers in the molds. It was really quick to whip this up. Great starter recipe to show kids some alternatives to a traditionally junk treat. 

View the recipe in the notes of the video. Our 3 molds were filled with this recipe and we had some leftover.

I think Reese was supposed to be my daughter... ;-)

I think Reese was supposed to be my daughter... ;-)

Almond Butter Brownies
She loves sweets. I do too. So, we tried this Food Babe recipe because it had rave reviews. 
They were like a cookie bar and they were very delicious. 

Vanilla Coconut Lotion
She thought this was the coolest to make. It only has 3 ingredients, so I was surprised she was so thrilled with it. I got this recipe from Gut Bliss (it's a microbiome healthy recipe) and we just used vanilla extract for the flavor. 
I multiplied the recipe by about 10 and heated it lightly to blend it. It made about (5) 4 oz cups. You could also put in a small mason jar, of course. 

I love the Lotion! Perfect moisturizer.

 

See a video of our fun time together- try to not laugh! I dare ya! 




How Do You Get Your Young One Interested In Healthy Food? 

My son, August, with a little bit of egg yolk down his face

My son, August, with a little bit of egg yolk down his face

Reese grew up eating a variety of foods. It certainly wasn't organic to begin with but it didn't contain fast food either. About 3 years ago, when her mom started working at a co-op, she started seeing even more healthy alternatives at home. Her mom has always packed her lunch and included lots of greens. She loves avocado, so there's usually a guacamole dip of sorts. But Reese also indulges when there's a birthday party or she's treated to Starbucks. I suppose the largest contributing factor in her eating habits is her zero hesitation to try new things and her mature palate thinking everything is new and exciting.

When I first started talking health food with her when she was five, I used to tell her fast food would make you sick. I know that sounds extreme, but long term, it's absolutely true. And for little ones, how else can you explain it?

I asked her mom what made her adventurous and willing to eat healthy; she said "I've always given her whatever I eat. She's not been given the typical "kids menu" foods except very rarely. She is interested in food because she thinks it's cool she eats healthy because that isn't the norm. She's always told her teachers she eats healthy and likes her friends reactions to her food. I think she embraces that it makes her unique."

I know it's tough to transition them into healthier options if you've never given them those things before. I don't have all the answers. I know many moms have shared their take on it and you can read their strategies below.


Wellness Mama always has helpful tips

I love this Huffington post post. One tip stated: "Avoid being the food police. Forcing kids to eat foods they hate is a recipe for rebellion, resentment and frustration. Instead, only stock your pantry and fridge with a variety of tasty, wholesome options — and ditch the junk. That way, every dietary choice your child makes in your home will be a good one."

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Thanks for reading.
Thanks for caring about nourishing our bodies. Keep up the good work in your circle of influence. Teach the young ones in your life what food does to their bodies. Show them better options. You can make it fun, I know you can!

- Beetroot Brooke

- Beetroot Brooke