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    Storytelling on a plate. Hats off to parents!

    February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016

Storytelling on a plate. Hats off to parents!

Many of us, as parents, struggle with getting our kids to eat healthy. Sometimes we just struggle to get them to eat. My daughter will turn two this July and although I have a long way to go.

I can only imagine how much I will have to up my game every year as she grows, forms her own opinion some of it impacted by fast food companies and some by other kids in her class.

As parents, we resort to any and all methods to get that extra spoon in their mouths. I know several parents including me have force fed, sneaked in veggies into foods they like, distracted them with toys and Youtube videos.

By the way, Youtube videos work great … and although all these methods work well in the short term, I believe we have a greater responsibility as parents to create lasting healthy food habits in our children.

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I want you to takeaway two things from this post –
1. Inspiration from parents around the world on what they are doing to get their kids excited about healthy food
2. Simple ways on how you can create these experiences at home with your children

When I was a little girl, my mom would create bajri spheres that were made of finely crushed hot bajri bread, clarified butter and jaggery. We would roll it around on the plate sometimes stacking them up and blowing it down.

It was just me and mom in that moment having fun. Bajri is a type of cereal which was a little bitter for my young taste buds at the time and my mom believed that it was good for me. I ate it all with a smile on my face and a memory that I will cherish forever.

I met Tania Luna, the CEO of Surprise Industries and a TED Talk speaker in NYC in one of her surprise events. She told me that as a Russian immigrant, living in an impoverished neighborhood where she grew up, her dad would create a well in the bowl of porridge by taking the first bite and the kids were supposed to empty the well.

So I asked parents around the world on what stories they are sharing on their dinner tables and what games they are playing to get their kids excited about healthy food and I want to share some of them with you today.

Food rainbow
This story was shared with me by a dad – I can’t find the exact picture I was looking for but this still illustrates something I do regularly with my kids. I cut up fruits and veggies of all different colors all lay them out like a rainbow. The picture I can’t find has strawberries, carrots, yellow tomatoes, green pepper slices, blueberries, and grapes all laid out.

I tell them that they need to eat all the colors of the rainbow so that they will be bright and colorful just like a real rainbow, and that if we don’t eat all our colors we would be black and white like on old television shows. I also have them make colors in their tummy. For instance I ask them how to make purple and they will eat a strawberry and a blueberry.

The laugh and smile a lot and say I’m silly but it gets them to eat well and try different fruits and veggies that they might not otherwise eat. My kids have tried pretty much every fruit and vegetable sold at the local market.

As they grow older they prefer fruits and veggies much more than other children their age. My son actually doesn’t eat much meat at all and his favorite snack is carrot sticks, my daughter loves tomatoes and olives!

This is such an easy way to get your kids to try new fruits and vegetables and a great way to make them recall how different colors are made!!

A bird that fell off a tree
This was an inspiring story that a mom shared with me. She found snack time was a perfect teaching moment and wanted to teach her daughter that failure is the first step to success and why we should never be afraid to try.

As i started feeding my daughter with apple, she wanted to hear a story as always. So i wanted to make this meal snack interesting for her. So i made a bird out of apple. We started off by she identifying the Bird and then she identifying what is the bird made of .. “An apple”. That was pretty cool to start with.

Here the story starts:
There was a nest over a tall tree, where a baby bird like you, a mommy bird like me and a daddy bird like your papa were living. The baby bird has always stayed in its house and never been out as she thought she was too small to try flying. One day there was a heavy breeze.

The daddy bird has gone to fetch food for the mother and baby. As the mommy bird thought that it may rain shortly wanted to get some cover for the baby bird so not to get wet and went looking for it. As the baby bird was alone she was afraid and there was lighting in the sky. That was the first time she saw the lightening and heard the thunder.

She was very scared and she ran to the corner of the next house. She slipped and fell off the nest house to the ground. Mommy bird saw her fall and wanted to rush her to protect, but the daddy bird just arrived there and asked mommy bird to give the baby bird her space and see what happens. Mommy bird was getting worried.

The baby bird was trying to fly to reach to the nest house. When she was attempting to fly she was unable to gain height. So she tried again she was able to get to some height than before but yet not high enough to reach the tree top. The baby bird now gained confidence, had a strong will power and was determined to reach the nest house.

So he baby bird was trying hard and after many attempts she successfully started flying and she reached the tree top to her nest house. The mommy bird and daddy bird was happy to see her fly and was proud of the baby bird. They returned to the nest house and they shared their joy and enjoyed the food together.

So, my little daughter we should not be scared to attempt something that we want in life. We should not be afraid to fail. Failure is the first step for success. We should never quit. Keep trying and we will succeed “Try and try with your head high and you will succeed faster”

Nudge of the day: On your child’s plate today, make a story. Put colorful food, make funny characters and just weave a story. Tell me how it goes

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