Quick Tips: Making Friends With Food

Remind kids (and yourself) why good food is good.


Here are some tips for helping kids know…that Food is Good!

Tie food to things your child cares about.

  • Explain that protein in lean meats builds muscle and strength for sports.
  • Whole grains and the vitamins in fruits and vegetables help our brains focus in school.
  • Calcium in dairy builds healthy bones and teeth.
  • Antioxidants in vegetables and berries fight infections and keep us healthy.


Role-play with your child. Make a pretend trip to the grocery or farmer’s market and explore healthy foods using toys like the Food Groups – Wooden Play Food, Cutting Fruit Set, or Play-Time Produce Vegetables.


Food Is Fun

Present kids with a variety of healthy foods from the time they hit the high chair.

  • Turn mealtime into game time. Cut sandwiches in cookie-cutter shapes or make fun snacks like “ants on a log” from celery stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese and topped with raisins.
  • Keep healthy snacks out front, and junk food out of sight. If there’s a fruit bowl on the counter and yogurt in the fridge, kids will gravitate toward it.



Try a scavenger hunt. Depending on your child’s age, use the Food Peg Puzzle, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Puzzle Set, or a simple list to identify healthy foods in the house, then go hunting. Bonus: Eating your treasures together!


Food Is For Sharing

Studies show shared mealtimes lead to better nutrition and, maybe, better behavior.

  • Sitting down to family dinners builds relationships and healthy habits. If this isn’t a tradition in your household, consider making it one.


Food Is Personal

Honor your child’s preferences while steering them toward healthier choices.

  • If your child craves potato chips, substitute baked sweet potato fries.
  • Instead of sugary fruit roll-ups, try real dried fruit.
  • Hankering for chocolate? Dip strawberries in chocolate syrup.
  • Making nutritious choices most of the time means special treats are fine. There’s nothing wrong with a weekly ice cream cone!


How do you encourage healthy eating with your kids? Let us know in a comment, or start a conversation on Facebook.