From the minute children are born, parents are trying to get kids eating healthier. However, somewhere around the time they become troublesome toddlers, healthy eating patterns start to go by the wayside.
Suddenly, it seems all they will eat is chicken nuggets, french fries and cheese pizza. The bountiful red, orange, yellow or green fruits and vegetables are not consumed at all. And that pattern then continues in perpetuity.
It does not have to be this way, though!
There are many ways to get kids eating healthier. Perhaps not all of them will work for every child, but with some perseverance and a little creativity, you can create healthy food-loving kids!
4 Fun Ways to Get Kids Eating Healthier
1) Hide the healthy stuff.
Some experts don't like this idea because they want kids to make good choices, and not just eat healthy foods when they don't know that's what they're eating. But for some busy moms with very picky eaters, this might be a good first step.
Add mashed sweet potato to corn bread. Put extra tomatoes and finely chopped spinach in spaghetti sauce. Hide bananas in baked goods. There are a ton of options!
2) Snack smarter.
While it's easy to reach for the chips or cookies when your kids want a snack, think about ways to incorporate healthy options.
Try whole grain cereal in a cute container — a cupcake paper sleeve works well. Freezing fruit smoothies makes for some tasty ice pops, too.
3) Use cookie cutters.
Kids like fun shapes. So use cookie cutters to make heart-shaped sandwiches, star-shaped cheese slices, or moon-shaped watermelon pieces.
Sure, it's a bit more work and can be wasteful, but it's better than having to throw out the whole thing untouched. And it might be worth it to get your kids eating healthier.
4) Let them help you.
Kids love to eat what they helped to make. Include them in the decision-making process of what to cook, and let them have a part in creating the final product.
Go the extra mile and let them choose fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your garden (or the nearest Farmer's Market) so they can get the farm-to-table experience.
The most important thing parents need to remember is that they need to be good models of healthy eating. If you want your kids eating healthier, make sure you are eating healthier too. Be the best role model you can and your kids are sure to follow ... eventually.
Parents.com. Web. 24 June 2015. "The 20 best snacks for kids."
Eatingwell.com. Web. 24 June 2015. "5 ways to get your kids to eat everything."
Reviewed June 25, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith