Healthy Eating with 8 Year Olds

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject with a group of 8-10 year old girls. A local mom saw me on Fox News Rising and contacted me about talking to her daughter’s girl scout troop. How could I say no? After all, Troop Beverly Hills is one of my favorite movies.

tbh

But first… what I ate Wednesday

wiaw- girl scouts- tea and banana

Green tea and banana.

wiaw- girl scouts- omelet

Two egg omelet with peppers, onions and Jack’s salsa. Half a grapefruit on the side.

In the morning I hit the gym and did this circuit by Jen and biked for 20 minutes or so.

wiaw- girl scouts- open faced sandwich

Simple salad with lettuce from outside my porch(!), carrots, peppers, onions and Newman’s Balsamic dressing. Turkey and chipotle gouda on Ezekiel bread with avocado and spicy mustard.

As Hailey napped, I got to work in the kitchen experimenting making Chocomole for the girls.

wiaw- girl scouts- chocomole

I sipped decaf and came up with an easy combination-

4 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey (more or less depending on taste preference)
*optional- splash of milk (1-2 Tbsp)

wiaw- girl scouts- chocomole prep

It looked creamy and tasted pretty good. I say pretty good because I don’t think I could eat an entire bowl straight and pretend it was real chocolate pudding, but it was sweet and smooth and ready for tasting.

wiaw- girl scouts- chocomole tester

My 19 month old approved! Hailey ate about 12 finger licks, demanding more after each lick.

wiaw- girl scouts- chocomole lover

The meeting was an hour away, so I snagged an early makeshift dinner before taking off.

wiaw- girl scouts- hummus

wiaw- girl scouts- spaghetti

Carrots, hummus and leftover spaghetti with whole wheat noodles.

wiaw- girl scouts- set up

Not long after setting up, it was time to get going. Some parents were concerned the girls wouldn’t try anything once they saw what was going into the snacks, but my whole mission was to open their eyes to more adventurous snacks, so with caution, I moved forward.

On the menu was a simple Green Monster Spinach Smoothie, dried mango, kale chips, Chobani’s Ranch Dip and chocomole.

I am used to feeding a toddler, so a gaggle of girls was a new challenge. Most had favorite vegetables, but there was one who seemed to dislike all food unless it was ribs or ketchup.

I started by making the smoothie sans spinach. The girls tried it and really liked it. Then, I let them watch me pull out a handful of spinach and blend it into the smoothie. Gagging, eww-ing and shrieking ensued. I challenged them to be adventurous and try the, now green, smoothie. Most of them obliged, which impressed me. They were split half and half on who said they could taste a difference.

The kale chips weren’t a big hit- not surprisingly because I actually agreed they weren’t great. I had to buy premade ones, which aren’t nearly as delicious as homemade. The dried mango, however, was devoured.

The smoothie went over pretty well and the ranch dip was a HUGE success.

wiaw- girl scouts- ranch dip

The girls gobbled up cucumbers, carrots and red peppers and even asked for more.

Finally, it was chocomole time.

wiaw- girl scouts- strawberries and chocomole

Everyone was so excited about dipping the strawberries in the chocolate that I didn’t even have time to add the sprinkles, which I brought for a little added fun. One by one the girls devoured the strawberries dipped in chocolate pudding, asking for more. Once everyone had tried it and agreed unanimously how delicious it was, I revealed the secret ingredient—— the avocado.

Total melt down. I’m talking falling over, pretend gagging, screaming and laughing.

There were a few who sincerely seemed interested in trying the recipes at home and a few  who sincerely looked like that wanted to hurt me for tricking them into eating avocado. Overall, though, the evening was a lot of fun and the girls earned their snack badges.

I earned cookies Smile

wiaw- girl scouts- cookies

At what age to you think a child is the pickiest?

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Comments

  1. says

    What a fun activity! I’ve been trying to think of ways I could work with that age range. I was thinking something regarding body image or self-esteem but it sounds like fun trying to get kids to like yucky health foods!
    Erica recently posted..Healthy Eating 101My Profile

    • says

      Yes, you should definitely look into the girl scouts! It’s news to me that there is a snack badge, but it was a lot of fun helping them earn it with healthy foods.

  2. Hanna says

    Sounds liks a fun evening! My 3.5 year old is SO picky! I have to force her to try food. She says that she doesn’t like it before she even tries it! It’s very frustrating. Dinner time is so stressful now because it’s such a battle to get her to eat!

    • says

      Aw, that does sound so frustrating. Have you tried the ‘just one bite’ rule? I’ve heard that works sometimes, but being that I haven’t ever been in charge of feeding a 3.5 year old, I don’t really know! Just keep up the trying -good luck! :) And if you discover any good tips, please share!

  3. Erin says

    Fun and a smart way to do thing for this age group. I like the idea of doing the before and after smoothie.

    So far I have found 2 onward to be the start of the picky age, but my son is only 3.5yr old so I don’t have much of a reference point. He was a great eater and ate just about everything we gave him up until 2. Then the pickiness set in. Some of it may be a control issue too as they are very into exercising control at this age. There are days he will eat soemthing and love it, then a week later refuse to even have it on his plate.

    I find the girls gagging ad acting as if they have been poisoned to be hilarious. At 8 I think kids tend to be more attention seeking and more likely to follow their peers reactions more than the fact that they are picky. I remember being that way. You act like something is gross, especially if others are acting that way, but in reality you like it. Of course, you’d never admit that in front of your friends who are throwing a fit over eating avocado.

  4. says

    Loved reading about your demonstration. So funny to read about the reactions you got. Even though I don’t have kids yet, I find that I have to try similar experiments with Vishnu…especially when I’m really going out on a limb with a particular recipe.

  5. says

    Haha oh man, that is too funny about their avocado reaction. I’m praying that Wyatt’s pickiest days are now b/c I honestly can’t imagine it getting worse. Yesterday he ate freeze dried mango, cucumber, and 2 bites of yogurt and that was it. Ugh!
    Jen recently posted..PrayersMy Profile

  6. says

    This sounds like so much fun! I LOVED Troop Beverly Hills when I was little. One of my mom’s and my favorite movies to watch together.

    Oh 8 years olds can be so dramatic. I had to laugh at their reactions…though sometimes not far off from mine (I still am not a huge huge fan of avocado). :)
    Maria recently posted..First DayMy Profile

  7. Ali says

    This was a great post and wonderful experience for you and the girls. When I am a troop leader, will you do it for us? I loved Girl Scouts and sure hope N does too! I plan to be a leader. I love the chocolate-quac idea and we will try it at home.

    As for pickiest age – for N it was probably 3/4 years old. For her first two years she was wonderful trying new things and liked practically everything. Now, As we approach 5 years old she’s been awesome for the last few months. She knows what she likes and doesn’t like but is willing to try new things. But my younger little girl is pickier at 1 & 1.5 than N ever was. She seems picky about flavor,
    Color, Smell and texture. Maybe she will be picky now and be more adventurous when N was picky later on? (I have to admit, though, I like a variety of foods but I am maybe considered picky or not adventurous).

    A

  8. Christina says

    Brittany, it’s so fun to see how your personal and professional interests are meshing together, and to see this exciting new direction that life is taking you in (the regular segment on your local morning show, speaking to kids about something you are so passionate about,etc). So happy for you! And a little jealous too :)

    • says

      Thanks so much! I’m really enjoying this path I’m on, though I don’t really know where it’s leading me most days :) If it interests you, start doing it! I’m such a fan of people following their passions.

  9. says

    This is so awesome! Kids really are the next generation, and I think what you’re doing for them is great.

    My sister just turned 12 (she’s a lot younger than I am…) and she’s still extraordinarily picky. I don’t think I ever went through a picky phase–I’ve always loved all kinds of foods :D
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted..Dinner Like a KingMy Profile

  10. says

    What a great post! Congratulations on another new adventure! I think it’s great that you introduced those girls to some healthy options. Hopefully some parents will be on board with some of the recipes too. I am going to make that chocolate pudding soon- thank you for sharing your recipe!

  11. says

    I LOOOOOOVE this post! This is so true of kids, and I think no one gives them credit for how adventurous they are in their eating if you give them a chance. Good for you for creating a super diverse bunch of snacks that are healthy and not only kid-friendly, but adult-friendly too. :)
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..That Time I Ran a 10K [WIAW]My Profile

  12. says

    I love this post! I think it’s so funny how kids, and a lot of adults, will really enjoy a food and then decide they hate it after finding out a ‘secret’ ingredient. Helping kids learn to eat healthy and experiment with good foods at a young age is such a good way to try new things!
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted..WIAW # 14My Profile

  13. says

    That would be so much fun, and it sounds like you did a great job!
    I teach preschool and my kids often tell me they don’t like certain fruits or veggies we have for snacks (blackberries, cucumber, raspberries, clementines, etc.), but I always require that they at least try a couple. 90% of the time they decide they do, in fact, like it and ask for more :) We just have to put it in front of them, encourage them, and show them that it’s god for you AND delicious!
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..boston.My Profile

  14. Mike Manning says

    Hi,

    I can’t seem to find your email and have a quick question about your blog. Could you email me?

    Mike

  15. Lindsay says

    That is really cool Brittany :). Keep up the great work, you are really serving your community in an awesome way. BTW it was cool to see your keg taps in your last post! You guys are ahead of us! We are making a clone of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat this weekend though as well as a Dunkel. If only we lived closer I’d get you a bottle to try, the Watermelon wheat we will be attempting in a few weeks!

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