For Little A, its with her vegetable eating. She'll eat cucumbers, grape tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet peppers and corn. That's about it. And only a tiny bit at any given meal, at best. Fortunately, she is pretty good in other respects. She loves fruit, eggs, and cheese, in particular, so it could be worse.
Then there's Big A. This kid makes me want to tear my hair out over food (not to mention almost everything else!). She just wants sugar and carbs. The only savoury foods she likes are pizza and hotdogs (sigh!). Ironically, however, she is better than Little A with veggies, even enjoying kale salad here and there and loving kale chips. Left to her own devices, however, she would live on sweetened breakfast cereal, baked goods, candy, chocolate, and bread smothered in PB and honey. She also loves salty carbs like crackers and chips too. I have to negotiate with her at each meal to get any protein in - which is why, you may have noticed, I throw protein powder into most of my cookie and muffin recipes. She can also go from loving a particular food or dish one day to despising it the next. If asked to taste a new food, she will often just touch it to the front of her tongue or eat a microscopic crumb before deciding she hates it. Grrr!
Thank goodness they are happy to eat all my baked goods, which I always try to pack full of as much nutrition as possible.
Anything I can do to get the girls eating better I am up for, so I was happy to experiment with If It Does Not Grow, Say No, an interactive book on healthy eating for kids.
Its an interactive book that educates kids about healthy eating, particularly about plant-based foods, that tries to encourage them to try new things.
Big A took one look at it and said she was too old for it, which was fine, because then at least the girls weren't going to fight over it. Little A and I sat down together with it and had fun. I was a bit too ambitious, however, attempting to complete the whole thing at once as she started getting fidgety before we finished.
Little A loved all the opportunities the book has to think about your favorite types of foods. She likes defining the things she likes best. She also liked the activities like drawing pictures, making lists and the word search. Her knowledge already regarding nutrition was actually pretty good (I'll take credit for that!), though I don't think in her case this book will do much to encourage her veggie eating, but that's just her personality.
I think this book will work best in a school setting where positive peer pressure often gets kids to try new things and opens their minds to foods they might not otherwise ever accept at home. We have certainly found this to be the case with the girls' hot lunch program at school. They eat all sorts of things that they won't touch at home. I think this would be a great tool for teachers, so I may just recommend it to the girls' school for just such a use.
In any case, educating kids about nutrition is just as important as educating them about all other aspects of their health, and in my opinion, it is never too early to start.
Disclosure: I was sent this book to review, but all opinions on this blog are my own.