Going Green: Winning ways to teach kids about nutrition

Going Green: Winning ways to teach kids about nutrition


Hi. I’m Nona Evans, Executive Director for Whole Kids Foundation. At Whole Kids our entire purpose is improving children’s nutrition. From the work that we do supporting schools with grants we’ve learned a few helpful tips that we like to share with parents for eating at home. So we start with three easy ideas. The first is Eat A Rainbow of Color. Of course that comes from fresh fruits and vegetables. The micronutrients that gives food their color also nourish our bodies. The second idea is Eat Greens First. Greens are the most nutrition foods that we can eat. They pack more nutrition punch per bite than any other food. The third is to Eat As Close To Nature As Possible. So that’s thinking about if what you’re eating could have grown out of the ground. From those three ideas there are two things we’ve learned from schools. We know when we put a salad bar in school that kids eat three times the fresh fruits and vegetables. So we always invite parents to create a salad bar at home. Pile a big mound of greens on your favorite cutting board and line it with bowls of colorful vegetables and then challenge the whole family and have a Salad Selfie contest. See who can construct the most beautiful or colorful salad. The other thing that’s really important is to get your kids involved. Turn that grocery store time into quality time. Give your kids a job. If there’s five things on the list that they’re in charge of, talk about how you choose the best broccoli or what you look for on the nutrition label. That kind of engagement really gives kids the power and the choice that we know works when it comes to getting them to eat healthy foods. Another great secret when it comes to packing lunch is to go picnic style. Remember that kids have a short window to eat lunch at school so this really helps. We’ve got two colors here. We know kids love to dip. Hummus is a great choice. It’s got a garbanzo-bean base; you’re adding a little protein in. And then add in some diced ham or a handful of pepperoni. Easy for kids to eat, really engaging. And it really gives them a place to contribute and make choices about what they’re eating. So all of these ideas can be found at wholekidsfoundation.org. We keep lots of inspiration for families in our Kids Club section. The other good place to go is wholefoodsmarket.com. Five years ago Whole Foods Market founded Whole Kids Foundation to help improve the nutrition for every child. There’s loads of recipes and great tips there. So for more information and to learn more about how to eat healthfully at home, wholekidsfoundation.org.

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