How many times have you seen a picture of a kid with cake and icing smeared all over his or her face? It’s a classic American shot. Parents proudly display to their friends and family that their boy or girl is one year older, so it’s time to eat cake.
“I can’t get my kids to eat vegetables,” some parents say. It’s usually for one obvious reason. The parents are feeding their kids other things. When you go to a Farmer’s Market, you see kids gnawing on carrots or apples. When you go to a mall, you see kids sucking up soda from straws or chewing on giant cookies that are too big for their little hands.
Whether you’re the parent, grandparent, nursery school teacher, uncle or nanny, you play an important role in what that 3-year-old eats. Let’s face it, most of them aren’t tall enough to reach stuff on shelves or get through the checkout line. They eat what you eat.
Here are three great books that will help toddlers get excited about fruits and vegetables:
You have an opportunity to teach children to eat their ABCs in the form of fruits and vegetables. Fresh organic produce is packed with vitamins just the way nature designed it to be. When kids develop good eating habits at an early age, parents save money on vitamins and doctor bills. When kids develop a taste for whole foods at an early age, they benefit the rest of their lives.
America is known as the Fast Food Nation. And we all know how SAD that is! I love the image on the front of this book. What little boy wouldn’t want to eat the wheels off this hot rod? Cucumber slices make great snacks. Health-conscious moms know it takes very little time to chop up some vegetables or fruit. It’s the best kind of fast food. This book is full of fun illustrations that will entice and inspire both kids and adults.
A few years back, I remember reading the findings of a study that showed American kids could recognize hundreds of logos and labels, but couldn’t come up with names for produce such as ginger root, yams or sprouts. When prompted with images or logos, they could call out “Tony the Tiger” or “Tootsie Pop” but very few could come up with the right name for a tangerine.
Imagine the face of that innocent 3-year-old you’ve been thinking about. Wouldn’t you rather have him or her ask for mangos instead of M&Ms?