Kids continue to eat cookies despite nutrition information, research shows.
Remember, “Where’s the beef?” Well, Where’s the cookie? I’ve written about this before. Not putting a cookie on a healthy eating plate is a form of denying that kids eat cookies. And candy. And ice cream. So, Harvard, if you’re listening, great graphic. It’s cute. Kid-friendly. But it’s incomplete.
By not putting cookies on the plate, we don’t give guidance on how to include treats in a healthy diet. This is especially important right now when we’re about to enter the Holiday Eating Season.
I know, the point is that cookies aren’t part of the ideal, perfectly healthy plate. But ignoring the fact that kids continue to eat cookies is like ignoring the fact that you’ve got a crazy aunt in the attic. Denial doesn’t change the facts.
(Have you read my post about how even kids educated in nutrition, kids who say they prefer fruit over cookies, still choose cookies for snack?)
Really, denial doesn’t change the facts. And the public health message that kids they can have cookies occasionally, doesn’t offer much—I’ll go farther and say, doesn’t offer any—guidance.
A visual representation of a cookie on the plate would at least show that cookies shouldn’t outnumber veggies.
OK, rant out of the way. My last rant on this topic.
For most parents, Harvard’s Kids’ Healthy Eating Plate is unrealistic.
Harvard has a lot of great information on their website on how to build a healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong. But come on. It’s a little unrealistic for most parents who just want their kids to eat some, any, vegetables.
What to do?
Start where you are.
- Talk about the concept of Proportion. “We eat these kinds of foods more often those kinds of foods.”
- Make your own representation of a healthy plate and put a cookie on it. Talk to your children about how to include treats in a healthy way.
- Talk to your children about planning for the Holiday Eating Season with some “clean, no-treat” days. Read my last post, How Feeling Full Makes Your Eat More.
- Include a bite of fruit and a bite of vegetable at every meal and snack. Do it every darned day.
- See the food world through your children’s eyes and teach accordingly.
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~