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For all the “big kidz” out there (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and grown-ups of all types), here is some extra insight into each topic Kidz Bites explores…

soul_parents200Soul Food

This first Kidz Bites theme might look a bit out of place initially, as it doesn’t seem to relate to eating healthy food at all!  
However, I really believe that Soul Food is essential to everyone’s health and wellbeing.
If you think about it, what is food? You eat food to fuel you, nourish you, and help you grow and thrive.
Are there other things (people/places/activities/practices) that also fuel and nourish you and help you to thrive?  Of course there are, this is your Soul Food!
Soul Food might include LOVE from family and friends, FUN and excitement from playing and mucking around, PEACE from having hope and believing, INSPIRATION from being creative and learning, and HAPPINESS from exercising or giving to others.
If you ensure you have enough Soul Food in your life then every other food works better. You’ve got to feed your soul as well as your body if you want to be healthy and happy.
Discussion points with kids:
  • What is your soul?
  • What makes you feel happy? What feeds YOUR soul?
  • Close your eyes and think of a time where you felt truly wonderful and whole.  Where were you?  Who were you with?  What were you doing?
  • Swap your Soul Food story with a trusted friend.  You might learn something about them, find out how you can help them enjoy more Soul Food, or even get some new ideas about what other kinds of things can be nourishing to your soul.

Keeping It Real Parents PageKeeping It Real

People often ask me how to tell if a food is healthy or unhealthy because they find there is a lot of conflicting information out there.

I like to keep things simple – because, when it all boils down to it, healthy food is REAL food.  

Food that is given to us by nature. Food that makes you feel happy, have lots of energy, sleep well, think clearly, grow strong, and let’s all your talents shine. Healthy food is real food and real food is the best!

Unhealthy food on the other hand, is FAKE food.  

It tries too hard and fails!  Fake food is often made in a laboratory and it may be hard to recognise what it was originally created from. Fake food can make you feel sick, sad, crazy, tired, like you have fog in your brain, and you can end up growing in all the wrong places.

Real, healthy foods include things like vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some animal products.

Not all of these foods will be healthy for everyone all of the time because EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT. That’s what makes things interesting. But we do know that these foods are real food – so choose healthy foods from these groups that are right for YOU.

Unlike real food, unhealthy, fake foods often contain weird chemicals, artificial colours, artificial flavours, funny combinations of letters and numbers like MSG or 102, and potentially foods that are labelled GMO.  

A lot of the time these fake foods come in shiny packets and all the numbers and letters are in a list on the wrapper – if you don’t recognise the ingredients, chances are the food you are looking at is a fake!

All of these fake foods are unhealthy for EVERYONE, especially when you have them regularly or in excess.  

So when in doubt, just remember to keep it real!


Discussion points with kids:

  • What is Healthy Food? Can you think of an example?
  • What is Unhealthy Food? Can you think of an example?
  • What packaged food do you have in your house? Have you read the food labels? Are there any ingredients you don’t recognise? If so, look these up and it may help you tell whether you’re looking at real food or fake food.

Vegie Parents Page PicVegetables and Fruit

Most of us know that vegetables are good for us. Eating more fresh vegetables is one of the simplest choices you can make to improve your overall health. But why are they so good?

Vegetables are the best because they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, all of which are crucial for our health. Plant foods (like vegetables and fruit) also contain very special plant nutrients (or phytonutrients).

Phytonutrients include all of the unique plant substances that give foods their brilliant colours, their delicious flavours, and their distinctive aromas. These phytonutrients have vast beneficial effects in our bodies.

Because of the exceptional composition of vegetables, we now know that the more vegetables you eat, the more diseases you will ward off and the healthier you will be.

Along with vegetables, fruit also plays an important part in a healthy diet. Fruit is considered nature’s dessert, and despite giving us the sweet energy we need they also contain many prized nutrients.

There really is no downside to including a variety of plant foods (vegetables and fruit) in your daily diet. Vegetables and fruit are even naturally low in calories so you get a big nutritional bang for your buck!


Discussion points with kids:

  • Can you name some vegetables? What is your favourite vegetable?
  • Can you name some fruit? What is your favourite fruit?
  • Can you think of a fruit or vegetable that you peel before you eat it?
  • Can you think of a fruit or vegetable that is crunchy when you eat it?
  • Can you think of a fruit or vegetable that is juicy when you eat it?
  • Can you think of a fruit or vegetable that is your favourite colour?

Water Image


Are you and your kids drinking enough water?  

Being properly hydrated helps your body function at its best. Too little water can lead to fatigue, hunger, headaches, confusion, mood changes, digestive problems, skin issues, and even sugar cravings. So you see, being thirsty isn’t the only sign that you need to drink more water.  

It’s essential that we keep our water levels topped up because our bodies are mostly made up of water, and we lose water all the time through sweat, going to the toilet, and even by breathing.  

Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will send you a signal that it needs more water by making you feel thirsty. However, by the time your thirst mechanism actually kicks in, you’re already in the early stages of dehydration!  This is why you don’t want to ignore the initial sensations of thirst.  

One issue with kids is that their thirst mechanism tends to be underdeveloped, making children more vulnerable to dehydration. That’s why getting your kids in the habit of regularly drinking water is a great move!

And you’ll need even more water if the weather is warm, you’re exercising, or you’re unwell.

There are lots of creative ways to enjoy water – using ice cubes, herbs, even adding fruit to give extra taste to a pure glass of water. Water-rich veggies like cucumber and celery can also help with improving water intake. One thing is for sure though, not all drinks help you get hydrated… sodas, juices, and other sweetened drinks do NOT count as water.  

So why not keep things nice and easy? Listen to your body and drink enough pure water. It’s cheap medicine.  

Remember, water is seriously making waves for your health!


Discussion points with kids:

  • Why is it important to drink water?
  • How do our bodies lose water?
  • What are some signals that your body needs more water?
  • What is your favourite way to drink water?

Where does my food come from image

Where Does My Food Come From?

There are a couple of ways to tackle this question…

Where does my food come from? A plant or an animal?

Where does my food come from? A factory, a laboratory, a farm or a garden?

Ultimately, we can get the food on our tables from a lot of different places – places like supermarkets, local shops, farmers’ markets, even our own backyard.

However, before we buy our food from the shop we know that this food was grown and produced on farms or in factories in our country and all around the world.

So where did your food come from before you bought it from the shop?

Sometimes foods might have come from very far away, and the further a food has to travel to reach us, the more fuel and resources it has to use (and the less fresh it is by the time it reaches you).

Aiming to buy as much locally grown food as possible can definitely improve your health as well as the health of the earth!


Discussion points with kids:

  • Where does food come from?
  • Show children different foods and ask whether they came from a plant or an animal.
  • Look at food labels and see where that food was produced.
  • What are some of the benefits of eating more locally produced food?

Eating With The Seasons

Connecting with nature and learning about the cycle and rhythm of the seasons is a great lesson for kids and adults alike – especially when it comes to food. 

Eating food that is in season has a big impact on your health, your community, and even your back pocket.

This is because when foods are in season, they are at their best and cheapest!

The variety and freshness of seasonal foods give us the most nutritional benefits.

Seasonal foods are also appropriate foods for the challenges of the season. We just need to listen to the wisdom of nature.

For example, in the cold winter months, we should gravitate towards heavier foods that are going to ground us and give us the warmth we need, like root vegetables that grow beneath the ground.

In the summer time, we should include light, cooling, and juicy seasonal fruits and vegetables to help us manage in the hot sun. 

Just as we change our clothes to accommodate the seasons, we can also benefit from changing the food we eat.

Another benefit of buying food when it’s in season means supporting your local farmers and growers. One way to teach children the seasonal food that’s growing just for them is to take a trip to a local farmer’s market each season. Or even grow a little veggie patch with them at home.

Incorporating some seasonal eating into your diet keeps things interesting and keeps you healthy, so why not give it a go?


Discussion points with kids:

  • What are the four seasons?
  • Can you think of a food that might help you cool down in summer?
  • Can you think of a food that might help you warm up in winter?
  • As nature changes, the foods that grow change – should the foods that we eat change?
  • Once each season, go to a local farmer’s market and choose only fruits and vegetables that are in season.
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