Before having kids I thought this whole “raising kids to be smart, healthy eaters” would be a cinch. After all, most of the food I buy for my husband and myself is whole, nutritious food like whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and organic foods whenever possible.
Now with a 7- and 4-year-old, I’ve learned how wrong I was!
With a daughter who practically only eats cheese and crackers, and a son who eats more but has started to take after his picky older sister by “deciding” that a food is “yucky” before he even tastes it (why do so many kids judge food before they try it?!?!?), I’ve been open to any ideas or solutions to simply get my kids to try new foods that are good for them. Some foods have helped, like the Sneaky Chef, but what they really need to is to learn how to eat well, not just eat something that tastes good.
This is why I was happy to learn about and review a new game that just came out called Rounded Plate.
Rounded Plate is a 21-day program that teaches kids to choose healthy foods and track their daily eating habits in a fun and interactive way. Rounded Plate was created by Rachel Pollard, a mother of three who simply wanted to create a fun way for her kids to make healthy eating choices, resulting in healthier, lifelong habits.
Rounded Plate was founded on the belief that building healthy habits in kids takes practice. The positive approach to healthy eating focuses more about the food choices that parents want their children to eat more of, versus foods they should avoid. Rounded Plate program features daily tracking tools, informational guides about different types of foods and incentives for success and practice to actively engage children in their food choices.
Here’s how the program works:
· To start the Rounded Plate program, families first set individual goals to eat a certain number of vegetables, fruits and proteins each day. A food chart is provided to give ideas and inspiration for family food choices.
· Throughout each day, kids and parents can track what healthy foods they have eaten with a daily coloring sheet.
· The 21-day program uses incentives for when kids and parents meet their daily and weekly goals. Meaningful incentives can be family activities like a trip to the park or a small prize for saving bonus stickers. The entire family’s progress is visibly tracked on a common Rounded Plate scoreboard.
How did it work for our family?
My kids were excited to try it, and liked being able to color triangles on a circle wheel for every good food they ate that day. It wasn’t a fun game with characters like they expected (this is no Candy Land!), so it was hard to keep their interest day after day. But my 7-year-old especially wanted to be able to fill in all the triangles, and ate extra fruits (like applesauce) to achieve her goal of a complete wheel for the day.
It also has taught our kids about all the many good foods there are each day, as there’s a list of fruits, vegetables, etc. that they can eat to satisfy a food group.
My 4-year-old was proud to count the spinach he sometimes stuffs in his mouth like Popeye (seriously, this is not a posed picture! I caught him in the act!).
There are two goals to choose from for eating well – a Small Daily Sheet and a Large Daily Sheet. The Small is good for younger kids, and the Large Daily Sheet for older kids and adults, as it has more servings of proteins and vegetables. I kind of wish each sheet had more than one serving of fruit to fill in, but you could easily just fill in a vegetable space for a fruit.
When choosing a meaningful incentive for eating well, my daughter chose extra mommy and daddy time. At this age, kids want to please and be with their parents (thankfully, for a while…), so it’s wonderful to be able to reward your kids for good habits with something valuable to everyone.
Is it worth it?
I think it’s worth trying everything you can to teach your kids about healthful eating, and this game brings families together so it’s not just about improving the kids’ eating habits. I filled out sheets for my own eating too, and learned I could do quite a bit better!
We plan to continue using Rounded Plate to track our eating habits as it has been fun and helpful to see how we each are eating better some days and could do better on other days.
For a limited time, Rounded Plate will be giving customers a $15 gift card to a grocery store of their choosing once they have completed the program.
“Before creating Rounded Plate, I remember feeling bogged down by all of the food I was trying NOT to feed my kids,” said Pollard. “I created the program to empower my kids to make better food choices, and as a way to avoid the nagging and power struggles by giving them the responsibility to choose healthy food on their own.”
Rounded Plate includes a Family Scoreboard, Large Daily Tracking Sheets, Small Daily Tracking Sheets, Bonus Stickers, Food Chart, Guidebook and washable markers. Rounded Plate retails for $29.95 and can be purchased online by visiting http://www.roundedplate.com/.
(Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary sample to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.)