Let's Play With Food by Elaine Good
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Let's Play with Food
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also available at the iTunes store.
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2. Before you start driving you need to adjust the mirrors so that you can see. Grocery stores put the most offensive, junkiest foods to children’s good health at their eye level; this is a good reason not to take them to the grocery store with you while you purge the kitchen of everything junk.

3. You need gas and oil and water to run your car. You keep records of all that information, or your car's computer does. You also need a shopping list and a basic understanding of food to decide what you need. Let’s Play With Food organizes meals by calories, the nutritional servings of each recipe and the Cook’s Code, which is by skill sets. This is a great start to your new way of thinking.

4. When you get in the car you should know where you’re going, have a plan and stay on the road.

Rule One: No junk food in the house and do not include fast food restaurants as an option for meals.

Put the brakes on junk food availability, it’s so simple: if it isn’t there they can’t eat it. Will they scream and throw themselves on the floor? Maybe. If they do take out your video camera and showed them how ridiculous they look. I’ve done this and after a good laugh after two live action scenes they both stopped, in fact as soon as they saw the camera the second time they stopped and started laughing. Picky Princess was two and her brother (code name Donut) was 4, and he had gotten into a very bad habit of throwing fits, even in public. So if you think they are ‘out of control,’ believe me, control is just a push of a button away and you’ll have a great piece of film to share at your discretion.

What whole food group are you replacing with junk food? If its sugar-laced snacks, offer more vegetables and fruit; you may be craving carbohydrates. Salty? Eat celery, naturally high in sodium, stuff with peanut butter or non-dairy cream cheese.

What time does the craving happen? Is it as soon as they get home from school? Good time for a vegetarian snack or fruit, but include protein to stabilize blood sugar. Let’s Play With Food has a Wacky Snacky chapter and a Pac ‘n Go Chapter for suggestions that are balanced in carbohydrate and proteins without taking away from an appetite for dinner.  Suggestions to get you going: humus (garbanzo bean dip) served with raw vegetables or fruit with a nut butter dip are good choices. Cucumber or frozen grapes are a great choice. Focus on eliminating fried food with salt and juice (equivalent to 4-6 servings of fruit). Mix raisins with nuts, boiled soybeans, corn tortilla with guacamole all make great snacks that are easy to put out quickly.

Rule Two: Engage in a positive shopping experience.

During the initial reorganizing of the kitchen to healthier choices, go grocery shopping without the kids if possible. Do not let commercials dictate what they want you to buy, at least for a few weeks while you cleanse the kitchen of junk food and shift their palate. Or take them to a farmer's market; this fun outing doesn’t include junk.

Ask them for suggestions with fruit choices and tell them when they have picked a citrus fruit and then you will be able to ask them to pick a citrus fruit.  Have them pick out vegetables by color. Let’s Play With Food uses color to create pictures on a plate. Pick out a dish for them to help make and bring the book with you for reference.

Rule Three: Know what you need

We all need:  2 servings of Fruit, Grain, Protein and Green Vegetables every single day to maintain good health, and one serving of Yellow Vegetables.
We all need: A shopping list, which is a good thing for children to write while you take inventory, and it lets them help find what is on the list. When you have children super market shopping with you, put them in the carriage to keep them from grabbing and demanding the lower shelf items that are put there for that exact experience by the big bad food companies and interact with them. Have them start to read and cross off the shopping list. Even beginner readers can sound out the first letter and find the word. 

Rule Four: Know where you’re going.

So deciding what to eat is easily accomplished if you tick off the list of nutrition groups, ‘We have green vegetables, but we need a few yellow vegetables. I have about 3 meals of protein I can get another 2 and freeze them so I don’t have to stop again before the weekend.” 

As you teach your children how to organize food groups, they will take steps in self-sufficiency and fulfill good health requirements. Keep putting foods that they say they don’t want on their plate, let them get used to smelling these foods, encourage them to taste, just a little nibble. Remind them that they didn’t like anything but milk when they were a baby and now there are lots of foods that they like, that their taste changes just like they do as they get bigger.

Let’s Play With Food encourages children to handle whole foods, and we begin with 2 year olds because they put everything in their mouth. This will accomplish our goal to develop a 'healthy' appetite. You’ll be surprised at how much happier children can be when following these basic guidelines.
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Elaine Good
Let's Play With Food by Elaine Good