I have three children with three very different eating habits. My oldest, age five, will eat vegetables, some fruits, and few meats. My middle child, age three, is on what we refer to as the beige diet. He eats bread, waffles, bagels, chicken nuggets, pizza, and bananas. The baby, 11 months, eats anything.
My son’s picky eating is rooted in a strong texture aversion, which makes our attempts at getting him to try new things especially difficult. His reluctance isn’t behavioral, it’s physiological. I’m trying to avoid occupational therapy for him, since that would more than likely involve immersion technique – something we could try on our own.
I have new hope, however, in a project I found while browsing healthychild.com. The project, started by children’s book author Valya Boutenko, is centered around healthy eating. Boutenko was searching for fun books on the subject for her niece and nephew when she came to the realization that there weren’t any.
“That was when I decided I had to do something about this problem,” writes Boutenko on her Indiegogo page. “My mother and I sat down together and wrote (four) playful and educational books for children.”
The books are $9 each plus shipping and focus on fruits, vegetables, and learning about healthy eating. Boutenko says the key is making the stories fun and not preachy so they learn more about fueling their bodies with nutritious food without realizing it.
The reason the project is on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site, is to raise enough money to ship free books to schools across the country.
“This indiegogo project is about getting more these wholesome books into the hands of children,” reads the page. “For every book you pledge for, not only will you receive your copy in time for the holiday season this coming December, but we will also match each pledge registered with a donation of books to schools.”
Sounds good to me.
I decided to try this out, purchasing the book, “A Gift from Little Bear,” which is a 32-page picture book in which a little bear learns about healthy eating from his mother. At the very least, I will have another book with a great message for my kids to look at while giving back to schools.
I’m hoping the book will have an even greater affect on my children and inspire them to try new things. To date, we’ve tried bribery and reverse psychology to no avail. I haven’t given up hope on this method, though, because I have witnessed firsthand how fun stories can change the way my kids think.
When it was time for my daughter’s first trip to the dentist, for example, I purchased a Dora The Explorer book that highlighted her first trip to the dentist office. The book followed Dora as she had x-rays taken, got her teeth cleaned, and had a cavity filled. I was actually shocked when the method worked as well as it did and my daughter’s anxiety was alleviated.
As Boutenko says on her Indiegogo page, healthy habits are best adopted early in life. My hope is that these books will help sway my kids toward the direction of healthier eating before it’s too late!
If you would like to purchase any of these books, visit Boutenko’s Indiegogo site.