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Envision a healthy relationship with FOOD!



Have you ever created a vision board for a certain goal or aspiration in your life? Have you ever gotten your kids involved with making vision boards to help them reach a goal or stay on track? Why not create a vision board with your kids that is centered around food? It seems like a funny question because we don't normally worry about our kid's eating habits until they get to the table, but why not get them involved at the beginning of the process? Usually, the adults plan for and shop for the meals they will be cooking for their family that week. We work hard in the kitchen only to be let down at the table. Why will our kids not eat what we make them? Why do we find ourselves cooking 3 different meals every night? The funny thing is if we just make the topic of food a comfortable, open discussion in our home, the way our children view food and healthy habits will change. Have you ever tried asking, "What do you want to eat today?"? I usually ask my kids to pick 2 or 3 colours a week and then they have to decide on what foods they would like for me to buy that are those colours. At least 2 of the colours must be from a healthy food group and the other colour can be a sweet or treat. If they are going to invest time into thinking about and coming up with ideas that I will include in our meals, they will invest the time and effort to try those things at mealtime. There is so much pride that goes into it! They see the item that they chose on their plate and they say, "This is mine!" Quite often, my kids will help me with washing, chopping, or even cooking at least one item they chose. Then they love to give the meal a silly name. Kids love humour and the more we infuse it into your lives, the more receptive they will be to things. We came up with the WHAT DO I WANT TO EAT? magnetic dry-erase board because my kids have always loved helping me plan meals and will often write things on our grocery list or randomly tell Alexa that we need popsicles and hot wheels. The board is designed for kids of all ages and abilities. They can draw, write words, or attach pictures to the squares to show you what they are interested in or what has caught their eye. Sometimes their choices are surprising. My son once found a picture of asparagus and thought it looked super funny and couldn't wait to try it. He ended up loving it and the way it makes his pee smell and we now eat it on a weekly basis and he refers to it as his favourite green food. The board is easily erased and reusable as well as magnetic so cutting out pictures from magazines and attaching with a magnet can showcase their interests for that week. If you dine out during the week, you can also see if one of the food items they are interested in is on the menu and try to incorporate it that way. My kids have seen me create vision boards before and the idea of a food vision board was entirely theirs! We love food in our home and I believe my children (especially my eldest) are adventurous with food because there is so much exploration and discussion (combined with minimal pressure) around a variety of foods. When the vision board is in front of you it is hard to deny it. Same for kids! They want to succeed! They want to feel pride in reaching a goal! It is important to remember to start slow and not be too restrictive. Try not to have too many parameters when doing the vision board with your kids. Give in a little and they will give in too when you least expect it. If they only want to contribute one item the first few times (even if it is something they usually choose), make a big deal when that item shows up in a meal and be sure to give them credit for it. Kids love being seen and heard and this is one way they can be involved that becomes easy and natural. Having a hand in the decision-making process as well as the preparations could potentially foster a healthy journey through life with food. Can you envision better mealtimes in your future?


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