Wednesday, September 22, 2010

n is for nutrition

Nutrition: Food builds bones and brains, muscle and strength. Be suspicious about foods wrapped in plastic and watch what goes into the shopping trolley and the house.

There's a game that happens in this house around meal time. It goes a little like this:

"Mummy is this Everyday Food or Sometimes Food?"

"This is everyday/sometimes food Madi."

"Is it good for our bodies?"

"Yes/no, bub."


I love the concrete stage of thinking that toddlers have. It's good or it's bad. There's no inbetween.

Unfortunately, time will change that.

But it's great as parents because at this age, are able to teach a heap of essential things to our children, and it seems to stay there (mostly). Of course, they will forget when it suits (or when they want that lolly), but it will come back to them... eventually.

In fact, the other day I was buying tinned pineapple and Madison asked, "Mummy, what's in pineapple?" Perhaps if I bought the $8 fresh but very average tasting variety then he would know what is in it. (I'm sorry, but I've lived in Papua New Guinea where pineapple was 20c for a whole one, and totally delicious. I've been ruined for Australian pineapple.)

And then as a result of this question, I've been attempting to show him that food that comes in its own skin are fruits and vegetables (therefore healthy for you), but those in plastic, packaging and containers aren't as good for you.

Of course, it doesn't always work that way.

Like tinned pineapple for instance.

But we cook together and I explain what goes in, and how it benefits him. And it seems to help him like the food and try it. And eat it much sooner than meal time. That being said, my boys don't seem to be fussy. They're more like little hoovers.

Oh, and back to the Sometimes Food... while we were shopping the other day my son asked, "Why do we eat it if it's not good for us."

I thought for a while and gave him the only reason I could.

"Because it tastes nice."

Damn you, tastebuds.

How do you teach your children about nutrition? How do you simplify it for them?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.