BEHAVIOR MILESTONES: Eating Healthy

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Getting kids to eat healthy is one of the most common parenting challenges. You are not alone and it is not hopeless. Acquiring tastes for different (non-sugary) foods takes time and requires parent patience. Think of it more as a marathon than a sprint. We are in it for the long-run and in time our kids will catch on. Our job as parents is to expose our kids to healthy foods – not to force our kids to eat them. The kitchen table is a place for families to come together, not a food battle field.
Kudo Banz can help with this milestone! Here are some simple steps to ease into eating healthy. Award your child a Kudo charm everytime they are successful with a step. When you feel they “mastered” a step, move on to the next one. Simply tell your child “you’ve done such a great job learning how to “mastered step”, let’s work on “next step.”” Don’t worry if you are on the same step for a week or two. No rush. Keep it positive and stress-free!

KUDO STEP SUGGESTIONS (start at step you think your child is ready for):

  • Play with food. Smell it, push it around with fork, count them, name the color. (Goal here is accepting the item to be on their plate.)
  • Try one small bite of food.
  • Try two bites of food.
  • Try three bites of food. (You get the idea.. add number of bites you feel appropriate.)
  • Kid picks one fruit or veggie to be included in each meal. Eat all (but serve small portion).
  • Kid picks one fruit or veggie to be included in each meal. Eat all (serve normal-sized portion).
  • Eat the fruit or veggie served in each meal. Kid choice goes away but serve only foods they have shown success with. Of course, if it works for the meal you can give them choices so they have a part in the decision-making (“Should we have peas or corn with dinner?”).
  • ​Add new foods to meals but only require 2-3 bites at first.

PARENTING TIPS

Be a role model and eat healthy yourself. Monkey see, monkey do (for better or for worse).
Don’t beg, threaten or bribe kids to eat their healthy foods. This sets up a negative precedent.
Set and stick to the rules. Don’t force them to eat but make it clear that there is no more food until next meal if they don’t finish (or do their best).
Make it colorful and fun. Arrange fruits and veggies into shapes or words. Make a game of it – “let’s eat all our vowels first.” or “who can eat their triangle?”
Shake things up! Often kids will tolerate pureed fruits and veggies. Make healthy shakes (and soups) that “hide the health”
Make healthy options accessible. Pre-cut veggies and fruits so kids can easily grab them. Have them out when they get home from school or serve as appetizer before dinner.
Show examples of other kids eating healthy. Have a cousin or friend over that eats healthy to show your kids it is possible!
Give kids choices. This helps them feel a part of the decision and are more likely to eat the healthy option. “Would you like carrots or broccoli with dinner?”
Involve kids in kitchen. Have them help wash, cut, cook and serve. The more invested they are, the more likely they will try the foods. (Kids also love gardens – great to do as a family.)
Don’t give up. It may take over 10 exposures to a food before kids are even willing to try a new food. Keep on serving the good stuff!

Kudo Banz Behavior Milestones:

Kudo Banz is like an on-the-go chore chart. Positive reinforcement reinvented to meet the needs of today’s millennial families. As kids grow, they are constantly learning new behaviors. Reaching these milestones in a positive manner is where Kudo Banz comes in! We are here to help start and end behavior in a fun and positive way. Sticker charts or chore charts are often stuck at home, Kudo Banz is always there when you need it since it is right there on your child’s wrist (keeping them motivated to reach their incentive goal).

Finally, a behavior chart that works for your family and makes raising good kids easy and fun. Say goodbye to yelling and tantrums. Kudo Banz makes positive parenting simple.

Growing Happy Families.