Getting Kids to Eat Healthy
If you’re having a hard time getting your child to eat healthy, here are a few tricks to help them get the taste of good food without them even realizing it.
1. Set by example
If you want your child to eat healthy, good-for-them food, then it helps if you eat healthy, good-for-you foods, too. By setting a good example, you’re more likely to succeed at getting them to eat healthier.
2. Let them choose
Even if you eat healthy, it’s not guaranteed that your children will follow suit. If you’re having trouble getting your child to eat fruits and veggies for snacks and at meals, try getting them involved with the food.
Take them with you to the grocery store and let them pick out the fruits and veggies they’ll eat. Kids are more likely to eat food they picked out. Sure, they might dig their heels in at first, but if you keep at it they will eventually pick out something they can “bear” to eat.
Once you get them engaged at the grocery store, you’ve increased your chance for success at the dinner table.
3. Get them involved in cooking
Letting your child help prepare the meals is a great way to get them involved in eating healthier.
Mixing salads, peeling fruit, adding in veggies to pasta and the like are all great ways to make eating fruits and vegetables fun. Plus, it teaches them how to cook, which is a valuable skill they can use their entire life.
4. Make it taste good
If eating healthy always tasted good, there would be no issues, but compared with unhealthy treats eating vegetables can be blah, especially for a kid. Try jazzing up your meals to make it more fun.
If your child doesn’t like vegetables, try adding in some low-fat dips for carrots or nut butter for celery. The dipping can be a great way to jazz up raw vegetables.
Pizzas and quesadillas with broccoli and other vegetables can be a great menu items to sneak in the good stuff while making the event a fun family activity.
Think interaction with your child. Making egg rolls, hard-boiled eggs you can draw faces on, and breakfast items like pancakes with fresh fruit or scrambled eggs with tomato and mushroom are great ways to get your child cooking and eating healthier without them even knowing it's good for them.
5. Allow treats
All work and no play makes eating healthy a boring task to accomplish. As much as children need routine and schedules when it comes to creating healthy eating habits, they also need to be rewarded.
Instead of making treats an everyday habit or going to the extreme and outlawing treats altogether, try finding a comfortable place in between.
Using treats as a reward system or for special occasions can teach your child the importance of moderation with eating habits.
The important thing to remember when trying to get your child to eat healthy is you have to be consistent but you have to make it fun. If you make it fun then meal times can be one of the easiest, most enjoyable parts of your day.