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    Boost Your Family’s Interest in Healthy Foods

    It Worked for Me!
    WebMD Feature

    A trip to the berry farm. Gardening. Saturday visits to the local farmers market. Cooking with your kids. All sorts of activities can help kids learn a valuable lesson -- that healthy food is a lifestyle, not just a diet. It's a great way to jump-start healthy weight loss in your family.

    Take a cue from famed chef Alice Waters, who started the "Edible Schoolyard" program for kids in the Berkeley, Calif., school system. The concept: "Kids get to learn gardening, help vegetables grow from seeds, nurture and water them," says Kathleen Zelman, WebMD's director of nutrition. "It's fascinating for them, watching that metamorphosis -- and they buy into eating things simply because they grew them."

    We asked WebMD readers: What activities do you use to spark enthusiasm for healthy foods? What's worked best for you -- for your family? Here are their ideas:


    • Since DS was very small, we've gone to the local orchard almost weekly. Both kids pick their own fruit and veggies and eat half of it before we get home. Growing or picking their own fruits and veggies has taught them a lot about eating healthy, how things grow and the cycle of life. We all enjoy it very much!


    • I try to let my daughter help prepare food as much as possible. When she washes the vegetables or helps me mix a marinade, she is more likely to eat the food.
    • I always try to treat new foods as a special treat. I told my daughter we were having baked fish for lunch one day because it was a special "girl's lunch." She dove right in and she still loves it.


    • Getting kids involved in food prep really gives them ownership and increases the chance they will try new foods. We like to let our 3-year-old help cook. Both girls help carry fresh fruits and veggies in from the garden. Neither of them has ever refused to eat anything we have grown. This year, we had strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, black beans, acorn squash, and sweet potatoes. They both ate everything.
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    Need some quick, fresh ideas? Ever wonder what's behind the latest food headlines? Check in with Elaine Magee, RD, MPH.

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