Wow, I just found out I have some work to do. The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity states that on average, American children, depending on the age, see between 4,500 and 6,000 food commercials a year! Most of these commercials are for sugary, salty, processed foods. Healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, the things I want my kid to eat, don’t even get a fraction of the screen time. I don’t watch television, but I know deciding to limit screen time at home only helps so much when it comes to promoting the kinds of things I want Elias to eat. I can’t hold him hostage at home. He’ll be bombarded by loud marketing elsewhere from food marketers desperate for us to buy their product. The industry is currently spending $1.6 billion dollars a year trying to convince children to eat their garbage. I better start making some moves now if I’m going to have any chance of competing with that. Here are some of my ideas for bringing veggies into my kid’s world now and in the future:
- Along with stuffed animals include some stuffed vegetable and fruit toys in play.
- Plant a garden. Even without yard space you can use containers to plant vegetables. Radishes grow quickly so they are a great one to start with.
- Present vegetables in a fun creative way on the dinner plate. Make a vegetable bouquet with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and bell peppers. Make a smiley face with vegetables on a homemade pizza. Use peanut butter, raisins and celery for an ants on a log snack.
- Make the plate colorful. Kids gravitate toward color and the more the better. Try beets, red peppers, and yams.
- Visit summer farmer’s markets.
What ideas do you have to add to the list? I need all the help I can get when it comes to helping Elias to eat healthy.