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Healthy eating is colorful eating

The USDA Food Guide is telling us that when it comes to "Fruits and Veggies - More Matters". Yet for many parents, it is really difficult to get your child to eat these nutrient-packed foods. A good way to get them excited about eating healthy is to include them in meal-planning.

USDA Food Guide Pyramid 2005
Bonny Lee, Nursing Student Association

Colorful Eating Ideas
Start by talking about how the colorful foods are the best for their bodies. Make it a game, how many colors can you get in the shopping cart and/or on your plate? Ask your child what green vegetable he/she would like to have for dinner, offering a choice while steering him/her in the right direction. If you have many children, have each one choose a vegetable/fruit of a particular color. Talk about how pretty and colorful their plates are, as you sit down to eat a family meal. Try drawing the outline of a rainbow, and every time your child eats a color, he/she can shade it in. If they fill up an entire rainbow in one day, they get a reward, like an extra story at bedtime.

The main thing to remember is that children like to be included. If you have healthy options in your home, it provides them with healthy choices that you can let them make on their own. They understand what it means to be healthy and will feel good knowing that they are taking care of their bodies.

Kentucky Beef has a "ChooseWell Kit" that is free for educators to supplement their curriculum on healthy eating. The USDA site for kids has games, posters, tips, coloring pages etc. to educate children (and parents) about making healthy choices. Family-Mealtimes.org has "family-approved" meal ideas if you're stuck on what to serve for a nutritious breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Girl Scouts, teamed up with Russel Cave Elementary and are currently running their first ever food-drive. Until March 14th, 2010 you may call 859-255-3427 to schedule for a girl scout to come and pick up your donation of non-perishable food.

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