"You cannot teach people anything. You can only help them discover it within themselves."

Healthy Eating

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THTM #17: Ten tasteful gifts (Superfoods)

What is the key message?

  • Offering “power” foods like beans, vegetables and whole grain bread is like giving gifts to your children.
  • When offered consistently, children will develop a life-long love for these superfoods.

Who should receive this message?

  • Any parent.

How can this message be used?

  • In our commercial world, we often think of gifts as things we buy and wrap. What other kinds of gifts can you think of that parents give their children?
  • What are some of the things you do for your children that you consider a gift?

Idea for a group:

  • Imagine you are on your way home after a busy day. You stop to pick up your mail. Among the many envelopes is a letter addressed to you. You step inside your house, sit down and open the envelope. Out falls a thank-you note from your child. This note isn’t for a birthday toy but rather for the gifts you have given her. You sit down and read the letter over and over. Tears start to flow as you read the “gifts” for which she is thankful. You are amazed that none of the “gifts” you have given her are “things”. Instead the “gifts” your child is thanking you for are….
  • What “gifts” would you hope your child would include in her thank-you note to you? Sample responses: Gift of:
    • Feeling special.
    • Feeling someone cares.
    • Feeling loved.
    • Feeling secure.
    • Feeling good about oneself.
    • Feeling like you matter.

(Offer participants the handout and ask them to read the list of gifts that will last a lifetime.) How can offering healthy foods to your children be considered a gift? Sample responses:

  • Learning to love healthy foods may keep children from gaining excess weight. That means they can keep up with their friends and have normal-sized clothes that are easy to find in regular stores, play sports, etc.
  • Child will know parents care enough to make sure they get the very best in life.
  • Child may feel special because their parents honor them with healthy foods.
  • Child may feel proud that they enjoy good foods, not just junk foods.
  • Child is more likely to live a longer, happier and healthier life.
  • Child is less likely to struggle with weight throughout life because they already enjoy the foods that prevent weight gain.
  • Child is less likely to get diabetes or other disease that overweight children have a greater chance of developing.
  • Planning, preparing and serving foods like beans, oranges, whole wheat bread and yogurt takes time—much like wrapping a valuable gift in pretty paper and bows takes time.
  • When you give your child these daily “gifts”, how does that make you feel as a mother?
  • How do you feel when you prepare a healthy recipe that is a huge hit with your children?
  • What “gifts” will you give your children this week?


Emotion-Based Messages