7 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Fun For Kids – Oubre Medical

7 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Fun For Kids

We decided to sit down and have a chat with our practice owner and MD, Dr. Philip Oubre, and functional nutritionist, Aubree Steen.

We're diving into another 4 part series focusing on brain health.

We're diving into part 2 here, following with:
1. 6 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants
2. 7 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Fun For Kids (this video)
3. 7 Tips for Easily Transitioning Your Kids Diet
4. Eating Healthy: Simple and Quick Dishes to Make at Home


Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:00):
Hey everybody. I'm Dr. Phillip Oubre.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (00:01):
I'm Aubree.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:03):
And we're going to be talking about how to feed your kids. This is a big topic and as a parent, I did it wrong for a while and learned some things along the way and now I coach my other patients and things through this. And I do want to let people know that we are a family medicine based practice. So we see children, we see adults, we see elderly, we see all ages.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:22):
So we've learned some tips over time on how to feed your kids and how to make transitioning foods for your kids. But in this video, we're going to be talking about how to make food fun for kids, because if they don't enjoy it, if it's not a happy experience, well, that's how you develop eating disorders and things. But we're going to try to help you encourage your kids on how to eat healthy.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (00:43):
So one of the first things, I'll just check my notes, we want to do to make food fun for kids is getting them involved. So if they're not involved in the kitchen, if they're not involved in the cooking process, number one, you're setting them up for failure later as adults when they leave the house and they know nothing, like myself, I chose to not get involved in the kitchen. So get kids involved in safe ways, right? So whether it's, chopping up vegetables comes to mind.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:08):
Mashing sweet potatoes.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (01:09):
There you go. Or like...

Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:11):
Peeling veggies or even just rinsing them off.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (01:15):
Right, and I say cutting vegetables, but if you have a head of broccoli and they're snapping the broccoli off and you go and trim them later. Getting the brussel sprouts out of the little bag, whatever it may be. If kids are part of the process, seasoning and oiling and things, they're much, much, much more likely to eat the food if they have a hand in preparing it because they did that.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:34):
And that being said is that you can also have them choose the part of the meal that they want to make. Say what you're having for dinner, maybe even give some options and go, "What is something that you would want to eat with this?" And if it's something that's very unhealthy, have a different suggestion for them or help sheepdog them into a different way or just make it healthier.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (01:51):
Or give them the three options that none of them are a fail. Would you like tomatoes, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts for dinner?

Aubree Steen, FNTP (01:58):
Perfect and then they get to pick, you're right. It's like, I don't have kids. I'm like, what's the word?

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (02:03):
Another one that's really fun and exciting is growing their food. Kids love to grow their own food and then pick it off the plant and then eat it. Now it doesn't have to be perfect. So, I have this tomato plant in my house that grows in one of those lit things. It's plugged into the wall and it shines a light...

Aubree Steen, FNTP (02:19):
Indoor greenhouse?

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (02:20):
Yeah, indoor little planter. And so it grows a few tomatoes every now and then and my kids love picking it off. But it's an easy way to pick a few off the plant and then supplement with ones from the grocery store and then they're excited because they picked it off the plant.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (02:32):
Right, they're like, "These are [inaudible 00:02:34] tomatoes."

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (02:36):
Exactly. So getting them involved in the planting process and seeing it grow and things, makes it exciting for them and they understand it. And plus, whenever you grow your own fruits and vegetables, they taste tremendously better.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (02:48):
I think one thing that, it's not really, well, it is kind of a tip, your attitude about eating healthy will shape the way that your kids eat. So if you go in there and you're like, "Oh, I can't wait to eat. Look at all these things that we grew in the garden. I can't wait to make it. I'm so excited if you make the broccoli tonight, I'm so excited for this." Get everyone amped up because kids love to be a part of something exciting and something that they think is fun and exhilarating.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:07):
So if mom's happy or dad's happy, chances are the kids are like, "Oh, this might be kind of fun actually." So have that attitude. That being said, another tip is make it like a little party for them. Turn on the music they like, it doesn't matter if you like it or not. I don't care if it's the baby shark song or Britney Spears or Eminem, I don't know. I'm talking, I know I'm dating myself, Britney Spears, Eminem.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (03:27):
Sorry, who's that?

Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:29):
Whatever, just turn it on. Turn it on and make them feel enjoyable because they're going to listen to it outside the kitchen no matter what you do. So if you make it a part of what you're doing, then they'll feel like, "Okay, I'm a part of this. This is my experience. I'm having fun. Mom and dad are letting me listen to why I want to listen to." It's not a chore at this point. So I think that's always fun.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (03:49):
That is.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:49):
That's always been fun for kids I've [inaudible 00:03:51].

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (03:50):
One of the office members here came up with an idea and started doing it for her kid and so we've been telling others to do it. And so that is to film a video of you making the food and that works for multiple ways. Kids love making videos and especially because they don't have phones, right? So they love making a little video out of it and that serves multiple purposes. One, if they're making a video, they're having fun with it and they're going to be smiling for the camera. And then two is, they get to put that online and they get to share it with others if you choose, of course, and all that.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (04:23):
But three is, in the future when they go to make that broccoli again, you can say, "Watch your video on how you did it so that I don't have to teach you a million times." And then they can start to get the hang of it because you're basically a teacher and making the video and you will teach... I'm saying her because this was a girl, but teaching them how to do it and that way they get to watch it over and over again. And if they can learn those things, then they get excited about it.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (04:44):
My daughter fussed at me the other day when I put the broccoli in the air fryer and she was like, "Oh no, that was my job. You took that to me. I know how to do that."

Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:50):
She did? I love her. She's so cute.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (04:55):
So getting the kids involved and that has not happened before. So getting them involved, it makes it important to them and they enjoy it.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:59):
And one of the girls that we're talking about is also my patient and so she at first didn't want to eat any vegetables and then she made a fun.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:06):
Like most kids.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:06):
So she made a Tik Tok, which is, well, Tik Tok-

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:10):
And then my daughter watched the Tik Tok.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:11):
She did?

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:12):
Yes, and now she wants to do it.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:15):
See? Kids love doing this. They love filming themselves and knowing that they're making an impact. Kids love teaching other kids. They may not tell you that they do but they really do. They like other kids watching them, they like inspiring people. So have them do... Tik Tok's a great way to do it because you can make it fun and cute silly.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:31):
And then my daughter told her and then she was encouraged to make more videos because of it, so it's been great.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:37):
That's really sweet. We're so sappy.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (05:38):
Anyway, one more bonus tip and that bonus tip is to use color as encouragement, even if it's a little bit of a white lie. But the problem with American diets all the time is when you look down to the plate, you see the same color. It's browns and whites, right? The chicken's white, the French fries are white/brown. Not much color. So using the rainbow as encouragement.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:59):
So there's two different ways to do it. One thing I really liked when I was nannying was I had a [inaudible 00:06:03] I nannied and I said, "Let's make a rainbow plate because you love rainbows, rainbows make you happy. So now your lunch can be happy and you can carry it with you throughout the day." She loved it, so we helped pick different colors. So we had red strawberries, blue blueberries. We had some oranges in there, of course some green veggies. But it was a rainbow plate, so she felt special taking it throughout the day.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:22):
The next thing that you can use is verbiage. So kids automatically hear, "good for you" and "healthy" as a deterrent. I love this little infographic I saw once it was like kid number one said, "This is healthy." Kid number two said, "Okay, we're not going to do it." The second that your parents tell you it's healthy, you don't want to do it.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:39):
So you changing on base by age ranges but like zero to four years old, you'd say, "Yellow foods make your cuts heal," but when they're older, you're like, "Yellow foods have vitamin C. They're in a ton of fruits and veggies that we eat and that helps your body heal cuts faster."

Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:55):
So you can change the way that verbiage is. So something too, like if you could think of this a superhero, like Wolverine heals really fast. So you can be like, "Wolverine eats a lot of vitamin C which is in the yellow fruits and that's why his cuts heal." Or something really silly that just makes them involved because when they know what happens to their body and they're involved in it, they're like, "Oh, okay." Like, I don't know, red foods make your heart strong and make you love more. Things like that. They're like, "I want to love more."

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (07:25):
So there's lots of ways to make it fun for kids. And so we encourage you that if you're struggling with your kid, start making it fun and see what you can do to make that happen. The next video we're going to make is actually about how to transition your kid to healthier foods and so we're going to have lots of tips on that. So stay tuned. Of course, subscribe to our channel, check out our nutrition course, our grocery store tour that Aubree and I have put together on as far as how to eat, what to eat, how to shop at a grocery store.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (07:50):
Go on our website, check those out so that you can learn more because these videos are brief and satisfy one point but if you want to learn more about nutrition, go to Dive In. Until then, we'll see you next time.

Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:00):
Bye guys.

Dr. Philip Oubre, MD (08:00):

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