September 12, 2012

Learned Tot: Nutrition

Learned tot knows all about science and math, but also about feelings and nutrition. And when it comes to teaching tots to eat the right foods instead of sugar bombs and nasty chemicals, it is an uphill battle. Lets face it, we all bargain, blackmail, and bribe to get that extra piece of broccoli down.

In desperation to diversify Klatch Tots' diet, we've searched for tools to teach them to eat right and on occasion resort to deception of the most benevolent nature (liquefied spinach in a brownie never hurt anyone!). There is no shortage of nutrition activities and games, trouble is they are unbearably boring. So, here is the round-up that's more palatable. If you have suggestions that do not include food pyramids, send them along!

Play food sets go a long way to talking about healthy foods and "sometimes" foods. We can also hope that pretending to cook and serve a meal will stick with them so that tots learn to prepare and eat healthier foods than consuming a week's worth of saturated fat in one restaurant sitting.
Parent Involvement: VARIES
Does your tot know what jicama is? Eating the Alphabet is a charming little picture book that introduces produce from A to Z and teaches letters in the process. The illustrations are scrumptious and will expand the tot's world beyond bananas and apples. My friend Eve compiled this awesome list of books about food for tots, check it out.
We use this book to talk about foods but also to learn letters and colors.
And this little carrot friend is adorable and snuggly to get the smallest pookies to embrace vegetables.

A sectioned plate become our great ally in the quest for better nutrition, splitting up the plates with thin masking tape, each section to be filled with a different food. But this plate is more fun and according to description BPA free.

Then of course there is trickery. The recipies in this cookbook are fairly ordinary, but the idea of sneaking veg into all kinds of meals from eggs to brownies, is brilliant. And so our children routinly consume brownies with spinach (you just have to let them cool, then you really can't taste it!) and meat loaf with made with pureed pumpkin and covered in ketchup mixed with carrots.

Jars of baby food work just as well if pureeing your own is daunting.

You might also like these Learned Tot resources:

1 comment:

  1. Ah, my constant battle with my kids eating what I want them too...:) One great success I have had is green smoothies. 1-2 bananas, frozen fruit to taste(or if you use fresh, throw in some ice cubes)- my faves are pineapple and/ or mango, 2 cups water, fill the rest of the blender with spinach or kale and wham, they are getting their greens. It was a little harder to get my 5 year old nephew to try it, but once he did he was all about the "monster drink".



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