What do you do with a child who isn't interested in eating vegetables? You put him to work. At least that's what Sonnet Lauberth does.
This Seattle-based holistic health coach finds that when a youngster turns his nose up at anything green, getting him involved in the preparation can work wonders. She gets lots of practice when working with chefs at a local Head Start preschool program aimed at getting kids to eat better.
About half the kids are receptive to the increase in fruits and veggies. "It's been interesting to watch what happens in the childcare centers," Lauberth relates. "We've found that when the teachers are excited and involved in introducing the kids to new foods, the kids are too. But when the teachers won't eat what we're serving, for example, the kids notice."
The same goes for home life. "A lot of parents say, 'Well, they'll eat it here but they won't eat it at home. We've found that getting the kids involved is the key for us, and getting them to help out with whatever meal is being prepared. We suggest parents do the same at home."
When a child is reluctant to eat new foods, Lauberth appoints the boy or girl as helper. "I put them to work as my main helper. I'll always make sure that kid is involved in the activity'maybe tearing up the kale or whatever'and by the end of it they are so excited they've helped to prepare the food, they're willing to actually eat it," she says. For the really finicky kids, she'll have them whip up a kale smoothie with her. "It's a mixture of kale, banana, apple juice and ice. Very simple, and if they help make it, they usually like it."
When she's not working on getting kids to learn about healthy eating, Lauberth is often counseling rundown moms. "When I work with moms, I try and work on the nutrients going into their bodies. Just changing what's going into your body is going to affect how you feel and your energy. But it's really important to look at the whole picture of your life too. You have to look at food and beyond."
She offers these tips for moms on the go:
- Create a map of your life that includes a variety of elements like nutrition, exercise, sleep, relationship, friendship, hobbies, home environment, down time, and evaluate what works and what doesn't. Target areas for improvement.
- Get some time each day to focus on you'quiet meditation, a nap'and try to have one night a week off when you don't have to watch the kids.
- Drink more water. When you feel that afternoon slump coming on, down a cup of water instead of coffee. You'll be amazed at how much energy it can give you.
- Green smoothies are very quick and easy to throw together; so if you are a mom on the go, they are great.
- Try maca for energy. You can even add this supplement to your smoothie.