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Helping Kids Learn

Let Them Learn by Serving Themselves.

Kids will learnmany useful life lessons when you letthem serve themselves atmealtime:
ƒ♥ƒ They learn tomake decisions aboutwhich foods and howmuch to put on their plates.
♥ƒ They learn to bemore aware of when they are hungry and when they are full.
ƒ♥ They further develop theirfinemotorskills and hand‐eye coordination.
ƒ♥ They learn to share,take turns, and be responsible fortheir choices.

IDEAS!Try these tips to make serving themselves easier:

√ Use small bowls so your kids can see the food.Use serving utensilsthey can hold easily.
√ Hold the serving bowls for them to make it easierto scoop up the food.
√ Be patient! Your kids are learning,so be ready to wipe up a few spills.
√ Encourage and praise your children when they serve themselves.

Help your child learn to love a variety of foods.

Sometimes new foodstake time. Kids don’t alway stake to new foodsright away. Offer new fruits and vegetablesmany times,served a variety of ways.Give your kids just a taste at first and be patient with them. Kids learn to like new foods by:

ƒƒ♥ƒ Having them offered over and over
ƒƒ♥ƒ Having them served with familiar foods
ƒƒ♥ƒ Seeing friends, older kids, and grown‐ups eating these foods
ƒƒ♥ƒ Tasting them prepared in different ways
ƒ♥ƒƒ Choosing foods to try themselves themselves
ƒƒ♥ƒ Starting with small amounts

IDEAS! Try offering new foods prepared in different ways.

√ Serve fruits and vegetables raw with a dip.
√ Steam,roast, and bake vegetables—even some fruits. For example,try warming warming fruits like apples, pears, and peaches peachesfor about a minute or so for a softer texture. Try it with canned, frozen, orfresh fruit – just look for canned orfrozen fruits without added sugar or packed in 100% fruit juice

Make meals and memories together. It’s a lesson they’ll use for life!

Kidslike to try foods they help make. It’s a great way to encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables. They feel good about doing something “grown‐up.”Give themsmall jobs to do. Praise their efforts. Their smiles will light up your kitchen.

Cooking Together Activities by Age:


√ Make “faces” out of pieces offruits and vegetables.
√ Scrub vegetables or fruits.
√ Tearlettuce or greens.
√ Snap green beans


√ Add ingredients.
√ Stir.
√ Spread peanut butter or otherspreads.
√ Shake a drink in a sealed container.
√ Knead bread dough.


√ Peel andmix some fruits and vegetables.
√ Peel hard boiled eggs.
√ Wipe off counters.
√ Mash softfruits, vegetables, and beans.
√ Measure dry ingredients
√ Measure liquids with help

Enjoy each other while enjoying family meals.

Keep meal time relaxed to nourish the body and help your family make stronger stronger connections. Let your little ones select which foods to put on their plates and how much to eat from the healthy choices you provide.

How to make family meals happy?

√ Focus on the meal and each other.
√ Turn off the television.
√ Take phone calls later.
√ Talk aboutfun and happy things.
√ Try to make meals a stress free time.
√ Encourage your child to try foods. But, don’t lecture or force your child to eat.

Listen to them when they say they are full.

Young kids will eat the amount they need. Toddlers have a strong sense of hunger, appetite, and fullness, so they are likely to stop eating when they are full rather than when the food is gone. And, children's appetite can vary ‐sometimes they won't' eat much and other times they will wan tseconds.

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