5 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Wellness (using Manuka Honey)
By Kristin Kirkpatrick, RDN, MS
I’ve seen thousands of patients throughout my career as a Dietitian and although every patient is different, the foundation of my approach is always the same: the food and drinks that you consume should give you bang for your nutritional buck. Things that come from nature, have abundant color, and come from the ground are often your best bets. What do I tell my patients about Manuka Honey? It’s the same thing I tell them about fruits and vegetables: find a way to fit it in every day. That’s why I was thrilled when Comvita, the global leader in Manuka Honey, introduced a kid’s line that could help enhance wellness, boost immunity, and soothe an itchy throat or cough. With some help from the new Comvita Kid’s line, here’s how I am getting MY kids, as well as my patients’ kids, to get excited about participating in their own wellness:
Embrace the Uncommon
Kids love the uncommon and if ever there was ever an uncommon and rare food, it’s Manuka honey. That’s because Manuka only comes from the most remote regions of New Zealand and can only be sourced a few times a year. My 6-year-old was not as interested in Manuka honey outside of its sweet and satisfying taste, but when I showed him a map of New Zealand, and we discussed the plant and bees involved in Manuka, he was fascinated and wanted to know more. Wellness can be like a treasure hunt!
Set the Example
There is always a jar of Comvita Manuka in my kitchen and my kids see me and my husband savoring a spoonful in tea, oatmeal, or just on its own. That makes them more engaged and interested in trying it themselves. Though the kids’ line is an easy sell in terms of taste, seeing mom and dad engaging in healthy behaviors translates to them trying it too! Instead of telling my kids that something is good for them, they can see that I believe in it by consuming it myself.
Make it a Good Day to Have a Good Day
Every day on the way to school, I tell my kids the same line – “it’s a good day to have a good day.” This morning phrase allows further discussion about what we can do to make the day as best as it can be. Part of that discussion involves the idea that we must take care of our precious bodies first. That means giving our heart a good workout, taking calming breaths when we feel angry or frustrated, giving our body the sleep it needs to perform at its best, and loving the foods that love us back. Wanting to have a good day means we’re happy to take care of ourselves, and that makes wellness routines from hygiene to healthy snacks less of a struggle.
Involve Your Kids in the Meal and Snack Process
My kids love to wander the grocery store, because I allow them to help choose ingredients for meals and snacks. Once we are home, they roll their sleeves up and start cooking alongside me. Comvita Manuka honey is always an option for their smoothies, pancake mixes and homemade peanut butter balls. They love the rich texture and color and they especially adore the taste. I don’t need to convince them to try Manuka – they simply choose it on their own since it fits in with so many of the food they love. When kids are empowered to make good choices, they’ll often surprise you!
Give Healthy Rewards
Loving candy is a rite of passage. For most kids, if you offer them a store-bought candy bar, they will take it. As parents, we can’t allow that option to be the norm. However, a lot of moms I counsel try to offer healthy swaps that in no way resemble the unhealthy alternative. Let’s be honest, carrot sticks are not the same as a candy bar, no matter how good of a salesman you are. With Comvita Kids Soothing Pops, however, it’s a win-win. I feel confident that I am giving my kids a healthy, immune-boosting treat, and they simply think they hit the candy jackpot.
Encouraging our kids to WANT the healthy options starts with our daily routines. It doesn’t every day will be perfect, but it does mean every day will be a little more intentional. Start with the easy wins everyone in the family will be excited about, like UMF™ Manuka Honey, and take that philosophy as far as you can. Comvita products, like the Kids line of Manuka Honey-based Soothing Syrups and Soothing Pops, and Comvita UMF™ Manuka Honey on its own, are the smart choice for everyone in the family.