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Having Fun with Healthy Eating

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Children enjoy new, exciting, silly and colorful surprises!  Eating healthy can feel more like a celebration than another task to complete.  Try these ideas to stimulate your child's appetite:

  1. Give foods great-sounding names
    Chefs always use this technique to allure you to foods on their menu. Watch your child's interest increase when instead of saying �we're having pancakes for breakfast,� you say �we're having oatmeal cookie pancakes for breakfast.� 
  2. Serve food with flare
    Provide a drink with a silly straw. Offer food in a bowl or plate with animals on the bottom. Collect different shapes and colors of bowls, plates, cups and silverware and mix and match the servings.
  3. Make food fun
    Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters.  Let children make faces with their fruits and vegetables.  Serve yogurt in an ice cream cone topped with granola.  See Food, Fun and Fitness for more ideas.
  4. Plan surprises
    Tuck a little note into their lunch box. Pack a picnic (even if it's in the living room!).
  5. Encourage little helpers
    Create an environment where children can help cook. Children can wash vegetables.  Tear lettuce for salads.  Mix ingredients for casseroles.  Set the table and help clean up! See Kids Cooking in the Kitchen for more ideas.
  6. Explore ways to teach children about food.
    Take a trip to a farmer's market. Plant a backyard garden or grow vegetables in individual pots. Take advantage of pick-your-own farms. Let children help select food at the grocery store. 

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