It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that my stubborn little man can also be quite competitive, so I was very interested to try a family “game” that would make meal-time easier. Rounded Plate is a program that helps your children (AND YOU!) improve your healthy eating habits in 21 days! To play the “game” each player picks a color on the FAMILY SCOREBOARD. Then, based on each players current eating habits, you pick a level. If you start the program when you only eat about 1 veggie a day, then you are on Level 1. If you’re already eating 4 or more vegetables in a day, you are on Level 4. I love that this meets everyone where they are. By leveling the playing field, no one gets discouraged before they’ve even begun!
Now it’s time to get started. Every morning each person begins with a tracking sheet that fits their level. Each level has a different tracking paper for the day. So if you start out only eating 2 veggies per day then you’d use the small tracking sheet. It’s a pie graph-looking paper. As you eat each veggie, you color in part of the wheel. And it’s not just veggies. It also includes proteins, healthy fats, grains & starches, and fruit. At the end of the day if you’ve met your goal then you get to place a BONUS sticker on the family scoreboard and get your bonus activity. Each family makes up their own bonus options. For example, with 4 kids we don’t always have a lot of one-on-one time with our children. So one daily bonus might be spending time alone with Mommy or Daddy or playing a short game of their choice or having extra reading time before bed. (That’s always a popular one around her, especially for me!) You can also get bigger weekly bonuses. Everyone who gets 5 out of 7 BONUS stickers for the week can claim their weekly BONUS. These bonus options might be something like going to the store with me (which my kids love for some reason) or getting extra time playing outside or being allowed to take an extra lap on your bike around the neighborhood. (See what I did there? The bonus is exercise.)
The key to this whole “game” is to get everyone involved and excited about eating healthy. My “Choosy Charlie” isn’t venturing too far out of his comfort zone, but at least he’s trying. That’s all we ask. Just try it. And if you don’t like it, you can pick another veggie. (I only cook one meal. If they want a different option then they have to fix it by themselves.) One of the things I love the most about this program is that it has a food chart with lists of the different categories so that you can see what you’ve tried and what you haven’t tried. And if you’re looking for a replacement veggie at dinner, you can peek at the list and pick one. It also helps us branch out beyond green beans and broccoli.