The Positive Benefits Of Involving Your
Children In The Food Selection Process
Children learn by observing others, making it extremely important for parents to set a
good example when it comes to food choices. When children are involved in the selection
process, they learn how to choose between healthy and unhealthy foods. The nutritional
principles established in childhood continue on through life. A healthy child becomes a
healthy adult. The benefits of involving children in this process are numerous.
Children Love Color – Children are naturally attracted to the bright colors of berries,
fruits, and vegetables. Teach them to eat a “rainbow” of fruits and veggies each day,
stressing that each color of food has special health rewards for them.
Red fruits and vegetables help protect from cancer
Yellow and orange are good for eyes and heart, and also build the immune system
Green veggies protect eyes, protect against cancer, and help prevent birth defects
Blue and purple are good for the heart, the memory, and protect against strokes
White fruits and veggies lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which protect the
Help children remember the health rewards of each color by talking about them when
you are shopping, packing lunches, or eating a meal.
Children Love To Help – Get children involved in planning menus for the whole
family. Hang a copy of the food pyramid in the kitchen. Encourage children to choose
healthy foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as sack lunches for school and
work. Involving children in the food selection process is also a big help to parents who
want to improve their own eating habits. Working together to make healthy food choices
develops solid nutritional habits.
Children Love To Cook – Nothing is more fun than cooking with Mom or Dad.
Allowing children to participate in meal preparation is a great way for the whole family
to spend quality time together, while learning about healthy food choices. Small children
can easily perform the assembly of cold foods, such as a vegetable and dip plate or a fruit
plate. Older children can do more of the actual food preparation, including supervised
cooking. Many healthy recipes, designed for little hands to make, can be found online.
Children Love To Choose – Engage children in making the grocery-shopping list.
Parents can assist children in making good choices, and remind them to choose
a “rainbow” of fruits and veggies. After their list is complete, take them to the grocery
store. Guide them through their selections, teaching them to look for specials and
bargains, such as overripe bananas to be frozen and used later in banana bread or muffins.
Children Love To Learn – Children love learning new things, as well as developing
new skills. Learning to make good choices in food will benefit them in making other
choices they face in the future. As they learn to weigh results and benefits of the choices
they make, they realize these principles apply to everything they do in life. School,
friendships, food choices, and family relationships will become important to the child
who has learned to make wise choices. Involving your child in the simple task of food
selection will bestow benefits for years to come, including the memory of special time
Post contributed by Christine Harding on behalf of Wish , for experience days.