Eating healthily is something that I’m really passionate about. I have been so confused about the advice and what I believed to be true from my childhood, that I wish for all children to be able to learn good habits from the start. Rather than retraining, yo- yo dieting and learning as an adult, as I did.
To help my nanny children ensure they were getting enough different fruit and veg daily, we made a chart. It was a lot of fun learning all the different fruit and vegetables of different colours, some, I had never tried either.
Whenever we ate a fruit or vegetable of a certain colour, we added a ‘diddi-dot’ of the same colour to our chart. It helped us to try new things and keep on track.
Using role play is lots of fun, they do learn about fruit and veg, but this can be used for other simple learning opportunities for our little ones.
- Sorting colours
- Sorting fruit from veg
For our older learners, we can introduce maths and writing opportunities:
- Shopping lists
In real life, you can also use it to learn about fractions and even ratios, making their own fruit smoothies!
Fruit Tea Party
Sometimes the children like to eat cold peas or sweet corn for snack!
More to books…
I love avocado! This is a great book, a funny story too. It will definitely encourage your little one to try avocado.
Why not make a fruit salad using all the fruits in Handa’s surprise by Eileen Browne or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
Or make a sandwich (but hold the creepy crawlies) like in Sams Sandwich by David Pelham. Use this as a writing opportunity and get your older learners to write instructions as they make it. For your younger learners, take pictures of each step and let them order them after.
Go to the library and check out the non- fiction books but also, rummage through the fiction and get as many books as you can that have fruit and veg in them!
Also, have a look at recipe books. Let your children choose a recipe where you can cook together. Then you have maths opportunities but also, science.
I know why it’s yum mum – Natasha Gavin
Natasha Gavin and I met at NannyPalooza in London, November 2017 where we were both speakers.
I have since employed her to do a party for my nanny child and her school friends. I interviewed her on her tips to get your children to try new fruit and veg:
As a fussy eating expert who has tried to ‘sell’ healthy eating to thousands of children, I know it isn’t easy. Conflicting messages about what is healthy/unhealthy, busy lifestyles and supermarket aisles ruining your best efforts to keep the kids focused on the right stuff are just some examples of all the challenges parents and carers need to overcome. My top three tips for helping your charges eat healthily include:MAKE IT FUNGames, treasure hunts, songs, books, art and craft, TV shows.. all are a means to brainwash children without them realising they are actually being SOLD the concept of healthy eating. Be subtle, give information ‘in passing’ rather than with intent.. “Guess what, I heard that broccoli has the same amount of calcium in it as milk?” Amazing eh? Strong bones from eating broccoli..Then remind them of the fact later when telling another friend/ their parent?VEG OUTThe healthiest thing you can eat is VEG. End of. If your charges don’t like fruit but love veg, you are so lucky. Focus on de-sensitising children to veg- handle it, shop for it, cook with it, play with it.. eat it often in front of them. Don’t offer it overtly- young children love stealing food from a grown up’s plate, especially if you are making all sorts of subtle sounds because you are enjoying 😉BE STRATEGICBy this I mean think about how you can get healthy food into your charge- during a journey (for example when they can’t ask for anything else because you are driving), when they are hungry (and nothing else is on offer), when they are unfamiliar with the contents of a meal (at a friend’s house? in a restaurant? Then tell me them after they have eaten something they enjoyed about what was in it), when their excellent eater friend is over and they want to impress them, at an amazingly colourful street market? Give healthiest foods first (as a starter?), keep carbohydrate portions very small (so they aren’t too full to eat the really healthy stuff initially, and reward little steps (licks, nibbles) in the right way.Our CD can be bought online at www.iknowwhyitsyummum.com (digital download and/or CD)
In my personal life, I also seek advice from an amazing nutrition and health coach. I asked her for her top tips as well as a healthy breakfast recipe that you can try with your children!
Check out her website at www.nutritionfornaughtypeople.com
Eat real food: our digestive systems were designed to digest foods we find in nature and these are the foods we survived on for millions of years before the industrialisation of our food system. Eating real food fills us up in a different way than eating processed foods or foods that come out of packets. Teach your kids about the virtues of real foods and the vitamins & nutrients they contain.
Eat seasonal & local: foods grown in summer tend to be cooling and those grown in winter tend to be warming. By eating local & seasonal we are able to better regulate our internal temperature and it allows us to enjoy a variety of foods throughout the year giving us diversity in our diet.
1 ripe medium banana
2 eggs, large
2 tsp coconut oil, divided 1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
Fresh or frozen berries (reheated)
Almond or peanut butter
1) Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a fry pan over
2) Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in the eggs to form a batter
3) Pour 1⁄2 of the batter into the pan, turning pan to spread evenly
4) Turn the heat down and fry for 4-5 minutes until edges of pancake loosen easily with a spatula
5) Flip the pancake over, and fry for another 2-3 minutes
6) Slide out of pan onto plate and do the same for the other 1⁄2 of the batter
7) Sprinkle with cinnamon and your toppings of choice
Show me your snack plates!
Share a picture of you enjoying the pancakes!
What fruit and veg non-fiction books did you find?
Love Kat x