Thanks to Ellen Briggs, founder of The Family Food Experts, for the following post!
Research shows that having a healthy, balanced diet improves brain capacity, maximizes cognitive capabilities, and improves academic performance in school-age children. Alternatively, the research also shows that having too much junk food and an unhealthy diet decreases academic performance by limiting the amount of information to the brain.
The team behind The Family Food Experts and Kid Kritics Approved recently announced a new program, Fuel Your Dreams, which uses a variety of educational and online tools to motivate kids to want to eat healthier so they can optimize their potential, and empowers parents to understand that kids will eat healthy foods as long as they taste good.
Here are 5 tips inspired by the Fuel Your Dreams Family Food Experts:
Teach your kids about the connection between what they eat and drink and what happens inside their bodies. Once they learn that 100 billion neurons in their brain send thousands of messages so they can run fast, they are totally motivated to eat avocados and sweet potatoes so they can be the best they can be. Kids will eat healthy foods that taste good.
Don’t make broccoli a 4-letter word. Find ways to include fruits and vegetables in creative and varied ways, and your kids will love to experiment and add it to their menu.
Be transparent with your kids – they’re too smart. Rather than hiding, pureeing, masking vegetables, if you prepare and present them properly, kids will embrace vegetables and create healthy, lifelong habits.
You become what you eat and drink. However, kids need a reason to eat healthy food beyond “your mom said so.” So, for example, if a kid wants to be an NFL football player (a popular choice among boys) or a veterinarian (the number one pick among girls surveyed), educate them on what specific foods can “fuel their body for success.”
Don’t “dumb it down.” Kids are critical thinkers (love to ask and understand the “why”); they love to vote (power); and they appreciate being heard. Further, kids are egocentric, focused primarily on their own desires. Once kids understand WHY nutrition fuels success, they will crave it.
About Kid Kritics and Fuel Your Dreams:
The Family Food Experts team is dedicated to providing healthier food solutions that kids love to eat so they can become the best they can be. The team developed the Kid Kritics Approved Seal as a way to make food purchasing and meal preparation easier for families by identifying foods that are “kid approved” that also pass firm ingredient standards. Fuel Your Dreams, recently announced, uses a variety of educational and online tools to motivate kids to want to eat healthier so they can optimize their potential, and empowers parents to understand that kids will eat healthy foods as long as they taste good.
Founder Ellen Briggs authored “Are Your Kids Running on Empty?” and “Mom, I’m Hungry. What’s for Dinner?” Briggs hosts the “Family Food Experts Kitchen” radio show, and along with co-host Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD, and Manager of Healthier Recipe Moms, hosts “Better Food Choices,” both found on iHeartRadio. Briggs has been featured on Fox and Friends and on NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and more. More information available at www.FuelYourDreams.net and www.KidKritics.com.