Even though you may know what you should eat, that doesnt mean you are going to make the healthy choice all the time. Well, the same is true for kids; we all need encouragement to make the less desirable choice, right? Why would I choose carrots when I can have a cookie? If you look back only a hundred or so years you find that around the table, mom and dad were telling their kids to eat up. The environment back then was one that supported eating the food that was put in front of us; whether or not that was based on health or financial matters.
I am currently doing research on the Build Healthy Kids program in an elementary school in CT. What I am finding is that many kids know what they should eat: ask a kindergartener how much of their plate should be made up of vegetables and many will say “the whole thing”. While I am doing the research, I no sooner hear the correct answers that I turn and see the young student eating fruit roll ups, cookie dippers and chips, with no vegetable in sight.
We all need a little nudge to make the healthier choices, which is why Choose It! was created. This 2 minute mini-lecture/motivational speech works really well with children who have limited attention spans. 2 minutes before lunchtime is over I stand up and present the Choose It! board. I go over 4 choices based on the monthly theme. During ‘treat’ month I compared two apple doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts; one had 2 tsp sugar and the other 12 tsp (1/4 cup)! I also showed how much was in the Snapple drink they had available; sales went down the next day for Snapple and they were still down weeks later. At the end of the 2 minute informational and motivational “show” the students left pumping their fists and yelling “milk and water”. All it takes is a board or props; the information to compare the food and beverage products and a person who can motivate kids. Contact me if you are interested in learning more at DrDeb@buildhealthykids.com