Getting your kids to eat their veggies doesn’t have to be to be a battle! My new children’s storybook, The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures, integrates fun with whole foods. The Forest Feast is designed to help develop healthy eating habits in children. It’s a must-have for any picky eater.
Best friends, Betty Baby Bites®, a tiny Italian mouse, and Try Rannosaurus®, a gigantic T-Rex, eat their way through a prehistoric forest. Betty and Try’s mealtime experiences emphasize the goodness of non-processed whole foods. Vegetable-challenged children are disarmed because Try is eager to try any new food (that’s why he’s named Try). His favorite is the green variety (after all he’s green).
Aiden likes to pretend he’s a dinosaur like Try Rannosaurus®
After reading The Forest Feast, you can further enhance healthy eating when you engage children in additional fun whole food activities. The following seven activities are equally effective in a home or school setting. They are even more effective when integrated with reading the whole foods storybook, The Forest Feast:
1) Food on a Plate
Provide pictures of whole foods from supermarket circulars and magazine photos. Have the children glue them to a paper plate. If children are older than four, they may cut out the photos themselves using safety scissors.
2) Healthy or Junk Food?
Give the children paper plates or a piece of construction paper with a line drawn down the middle with a marker. Write healthy on one side and junky on the other side. Have pictures of junk foods like donuts, cookies, and potato chips, and pictures of whole foods. Have kids glue their photos to the appropriate side of the plate.
3) A is for Apple, B is for Banana…V is for Veggie
Provide children with pictures of whole foods and show them how to write the appropriate letter of the alphabet which corresponds to the food.
4) Guess the Food in My Picnic Basket
Prepare laminated pictures of whole foods or use a picnic basket with plastic play food. Play a guessing game with the children. Say “In my picnic basket I have some fruit. It is a red and it’s a berry. What kind of food is it?” Give the children a moment to guess, then take the item from the basket and show them a strawberry.
5) Genesis Connection
Read the creation story in Genesis. God created all things. Did He create the dinosaurs? Are dinosaurs in the Bible? In the book of Job God mentions some of the things He created. In Job 40 describes a great beast called a “Behemoth.” Read Job 40:15-24 with your child. Does this beast sound like a hippo, an elephant, or a dinosaur? Today we call the Behemoth a dinosaur, which means terrible lizard. Click Here for more information about the Behemoth.
6) Veggie Dip Snack
Prepare Julienne strips of veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) with either a hummus or avocado dip. Ask the children if Try would eat this. Why? Which veggies would be his favorite? Give each child a small paper plate with each of the veggies and a dollop of dip. Discuss the textures, tastes, and how yummy each veggie smells.
7) Fruit and Vegetable Prints
You’ll Need: Paint or ink. (to make tempera paint thicker and stickier add a touch of flour or glue). Sponges and an old cookie tray or Styrofoam tray. It’s a good idea to put the paint on a sponge so that when an object is dipped into the paint, the sponge will only let off a little bit of paint…because a little is all you need.
You will need: Paintbrushes, water and water containers. Paper and a covered work area. Fruits and veggies of all kinds: carrots, starfruit, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, avocados, and apples.
1. Dip fruit and vegetables into paint or printing ink and stamp them onto paper in random or ordered patterns.
2. Kinder artists may instead apply the paint or ink directly to the vegetables with a paintbrush.
3. No knives are needed except for to cut the fruit or vegetable in half (an adult should do this part).
For more fun food ideas, go to “Browse Baby Bites Categories” located on the right. Then click on “The Forest Feast Teaching Helps.”