Your TSK is curious! It’s in his genes, directly from you! But sometimes parents don’t think that curiosity is cool; they think curiosity is a catastrophe! How can you use this curiosity to help him learn healthy habits?
You need to give him new ways of looking at the world! You can do this by being a great example for such things as eating vegetables! So, does food presentation make a difference in how well TSK will eat? YES!
A Calgary, Canada study used McDonald’s hamburgers and fries and carrots each wrapped in one of the following four groups; colorful wrapping paper that had no label or logo, Starbucks wrapping paper, McDonald’s wrappings and plan white wrapping paper. The researchers chose Starbucks because they thought kids wouldn’t be as familiar with the logo. The kids favored burgers wrapped in the Starbucks and the McDonald’s wrappings equally. Now the carrots and fries that were favored were those wrapped in the Starbucks papers. So, presentation, in this case, packaging, seems to matter.
Take-home message: kids are more likely to do something, if it is interesting.
So, parents, your job is to make the important healthy lifestyle issues, (like eating vegetables, exercising and sleep), interesting, varied, and done routinely.
That’s a tall order; making the everyday activities seem exciting. How to do this?
First, is to pay attention to your child’s reactions and what they respond to, and build on their understanding of their world.
Even little thing, like:
- putting a smiley face sticker on the sippy cup, or
- dancing the ‘Hokey Pokey” while folding the clothes, (You put your Left hand in…, you pull a towel out…you grab the other corner…and you shake it all about) Your toddler will love this and want to “help”!
- having fun pictures of happy vegetables, like Billy Broccoli, or Cathy Carrot, to scribble on, then use as a center piece.
By the way, if you google “making food fun for toddlers”, you get over 8 million responses in .3 seconds!
But don’t let the fun stop with Billy Broccoli; no, have a great time while learning to pick up the toys, brush the teeth, and even be creative with teaching your kids to calm down to go to sleep.
In case, you hadn’t picked up on it, the whole thing centers around time, and the fact that you care enough to share time with TSK! Curiosity can be Cool! Gene