We just wrote a post about the importance of feeding your kids brain food. Here are some tips for getting these foods into your family's food life:
The food itself:
- Plan ahead. Foods on the go are less likely to be brain healthy. Make sure you have fruits, veggies, and whole grains on hand.
- Buy frozen fruits or veggies when you need convenience.
- Puree veggies and put them in sauces, soups and other meals.
- Cut back on processed, prepackaged foods.
- Give your kids water or a small glass of 100% fruit juice instead of sport drinks, juice, or soda.
- Choose a rainbow. Mix the colors. Try something new!
- Feed your kids breakfast or make sure they are getting a nutritious breakfast at school.
- Keep trying. Introduce foods to picky eaters again a couple of weeks later.
- Read about the "bottom line" foods in this post and work them in to your family's diet.
Improving your family's "food life:"
- Model healthy eating.
- Make small changes. You don't need to change the entire family's diet all at once.
- Try not to set up a pattern where you use food as a reward or as a way to make your kids feel better.
- Talk to your kids about why brain food is important.
- Start a garden. Get your kids connected to a community or school-based garden.
- Raise cooks. Involve your kids in meal planning, cooking, and, of course, doing dishes!
- Avoid food wars and becoming the "food police." Encourage healthy eating but don't be afraid to find middle ground.
- Enjoy meals together. This isn't just a time to feed kids brains, it is also a time to connect.
- Be food and body positive. This is about taking care of healthy bodies, not avoiding getting fat. There is nothing wrong with occasional treats.
- As your kids get older, talk to them about food advocacy and food access! This is a great way to get teens engaged in food politics and nutrition.