sharing that my almost 4 year-old granddaughter is going
through her "I donít want to eat anything green"
stage, my friend Trish invited me for coffee.
might be something you can use," she said as she handed
me a flat package enclosed in clear plastic. She explained how
ó troubled by the obesity and poor eating habits she
observed in this generation of young children ó she had
developed the Magic Mealtime Magnet with guidance from
registered dietitian and licensed medical nutrition therapist
intrigued. Along with its paper doll-like magnet that can be
converted with various hairstyles into a boy or a girl, this
teaching toy provides current recommendations for feeding kids
ages 3 to 12 years. And it includes magnetic pictures of
various foods to help children learn nutrient groups. I
promised to try it out on my granddaughter.
Miss Frances came to visit, I told her I had a surprise and
plopped the magnetic picture on my refrigerator door. I had
mom watched, I asked, "Tell me what you ate for breakfast
her mom volunteered. I pulled off the magnetic yogurt carton
and handed it to Frances. She placed it in the dairy group,
which encourages children her age to eat 3 small servings of
high calcium foods each day.
time, she had accumulated granola, egg and cheese on her
Mealtime Magic board. She could also see that two food groups
ó fruits and vegetables ó had not been added to her
collection of magnetic pictures for the day.
no surprise that most young children do not consume their
recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables which is
about 1 cup of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables. And
according to research reported in the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics, the formula to encourage a positive relationship
between little people and these foods is Ö
serving fruits and vegetables to kiddos, say experts, may not
be as effective as we would wish.
a refrigerator magnet toy that helps kids count and classify
the foods they have eaten help Frances? By the middle of the
afternoon, she and her mom realized they would for sure
include a fruit and/or vegetable with dinner tonight. And her
mom remarked, "I need to get about five of these kits to
send to my friends with young kids."
remains to be seen if this fun refrigerator activity will
magically change the way Miss Frances views green foods. Magic
Mealtime Magnet is just one of many available encouragements
for helping kids learn good choices. Itís a fun way to
start. Contact Trish at Trishkoch@charter.net for more