Healthy Food Can Be Fun: The Tran Family
Watch the video together with children. As you notice how Micah, his friend Lana, and his mom Katie show Lily how they work together to make food fun and plan meals ahead, think about which ideas you might like to try. For instance:
Food faces: Micah’s mom often arranges food so that his plate looks like a face! It’s how she got him to try peas (she put two peas down for eyes). His pancakes have banana eyes, an orange-wedge mouth, and a strawberry nose.
Pretend play: Like Micah, Lana, and Lily did, use pretend play to model healthy eating. If your child has some play food or a play kitchen area, act out scenarios like supermarket, restaurant, farmers’ market, and kitchen. Add clean, empty food packages and paper and crayons to make menus or lists.
Thinking ahead: Notice what Katie does in advance to make meal prep easier. For instance, she hard-boils a dozen eggs at once and keeps them in the refrigerator for snacks and “on the go breakfasts.” Eggs are a great choice for kids—they are full of protein and there are lots of different ways you can prepare them for choosy eaters (if kids don’t like one way, try a different way next time)!
Smoothies: Let kids choose combinations of fruits, and then watch you put them in a blender. You can store fruits in self-sealing bags so they’re ready to go. (Micah and Katie’s favorite smoothie is half a banana, one half cup frozen mango, a fist-sized amount of frozen spinach and/or handful of wheatgrass, and one cup water.)
Green it up! Katie and Micah grow their own wheatgrass for their smoothies. Wheatgrass seeds are easy to find and grow! The bright, thick, green grass takes only a few days to start growing, and kids can pull off a small bunch and rinse it. Like the Trans, you can add it to smoothies to turn them into “Oscar the Grouch” green smoothies. It’s good for kids to know that food grows…and growing your own can make mealtime more interesting! Growing food also builds observation skills.
Micah and Mom’s Carrot Muffins
Preheat oven to 375. Mix together:
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg (or 1 cup applesauce!)
- ½ cup water or vegetable oil
Grease muffin tin or line the tin with paper baking cups and spoon in batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.