Children are notoriously picky eaters. I am a licensed nutritionist, and even my own son dislikes healthy food. More than once, I have caught Reid slipping his vegetables to Cody, our dog. Whereas some parents would overlook this behavior and change the menu to cater to their child’s tastes, or force their child to eat every bite on their plate upon threat of punishment, I decided that educating my son about proper nutrition was a better option.
It is difficult to teach children about proper eating habits in such a way that they understand it on their level and are able to implement it in their lives. While it is important to set a good example with your own diet and by buying more healthy food and less garbage, there are also outside sources that can make learning about nutrition fun. I’ve put together some online resources you can use to help teach your children how to make sound decisions about what they eat. So charge up your laptop battery and let’s get to learning!
Nourish Interactive is one of my favorite sites. Chef Solus and the Food Pyramid Adventure is a fun interactive game that teaches about the food pyramid and the health benefits of individual menu items while teaching your child about the importance of balancing physical exertion and refueling with healthy foods. Additionally, there are worksheets, coloring pages, crossword puzzles and other printable materials. Membership is free and required for many of the activities.
Dole SuperKids teaches about the importance of eating five fruits or vegetables a day, and the difference between healthy and unhealthy snacks. This award-winning site offers everything from interactive video games and music videos (with lyrics so you can sing along) to crossword puzzles, recipes and fitness tips, making it suitable for children of all ages. My son loves “B Is for Banana,” a catchy tune that I find myself singing in the shower from time-to-time, and we play Catapult Game and Superfoods Secret Sleuth together when we have a few minutes to spare.
With various activities to choose from, Kidnetic is suitable for children and adults. InnerG is a game that allows youngsters to place organs into the human body while teaching which foods nourish which parts of the body and offering related recipes and printouts. Additionally, there are health-related blogs (for older kids) that are approved by the Kidnetic.com Scientific Advisory Panel, composed of seven qualified and reputable health professionals, so parents can feel confident that their children are being taught sound principles.
The Internet has broadened our horizons for learning and sharing information, which makes teaching your children about healthy lifestyles easier than ever before. Children seem to be drawn to video games and music videos – why not direct them to these sites to educate and entertain them about something that is far more important than anything a regular video game will ever teach them?