How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Food : Patience, perseverance, and a little creativity will go a long way in getting your child to eat healthy food for kids. It’s no surprise that your little one is probably the most notorious picky eater to date. Children are more likely to eat unhealthy food choices if you tolerate them.
However, that shouldn’t always be the case. Now is the best time to build a solid foundation for proper nutrition by teaching and encouraging them to eat healthy foods for children. Always remember that a healthy diet for children consists of various combinations of foods from the four main food groups.
As long as you can strike a balance with all food groups — dairy, meat protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — you’re good to go. Here are some useful tips to get you started.
Introduce New Food Flavors One Step at a Time
Don’t let your kids fall into eating habits. Avoid serving the same food over and over again. Start by browsing or reading recipe ideas from books, magazines, and even online. Introduce new flavors, pairs, and recipes gradually each week in combination with their favorite foods.
You can start with vegetables. Cut up new vegetables and combine them with their favorite foods such as pasta, soup, omelet or casserole. Be sure to mix it up every week by introducing a new way of cooking vegetables with their favorite foods.
Involve Your Child in Food Preparation
Next time you go to the supermarket, take your kids and encourage them to pick their own fruits and vegetables. In cooking healthy meals for children, invite them to help you prepare them. No profile is too high. You can ask them to wash produce, stir soup, or even help make fresh pasta at home.
This is a great way to get your kids to appreciate the fun side of cooking and eating, while also teaching them basic cooking skills. Research has shown that children are more likely to eat the foods they help prepare.
Don’t Radically Eliminate Desserts or High Fat Foods
The key to healthy eating for children, just like adults, is not overdoing it. There’s no need to completely ban ice cream or French fries from your children’s diet. If you do, it will only make them want more of this food. All you need to do is make sure they know what’s good and bad for them.
There’s always room for sweet desserts or greasy treats as often as possible. Teach them the value of small portions for these types of food, or better yet find healthy alternatives that still allow them to enjoy the same taste without compromising on the nutritional value.
Be Creative in Plating and Serving
We all know how children are captivated by any visual especially color. Apply it in food. Have as many color variations as possible when serving their food. You can even create art with their fruits and vegetables. Invite them to join you in making the most visually appealing meals.
Fruits and vegetables have become colorful ingredients. All you need is creativity in layering and serving. Kids love the dip. Why not make a delicious low-fat vegetable dip that will entice them to eat their vegetables and fruits.
Don’t bribe your child to eat their vegetables
Contrary to popular belief, bribing children to eat their vegetables can do more harm than good. Don’t haggle with your kids with gifts like having a sugary dessert after eating vegetables etc. This will only increase negative food associations where vegetables are a requirement and dessert is a fun and delicious treat.
Children tend to carry these negative associations with them into adulthood. Just encourage them to eat one bite. Do not give up. They may not like it right away, but that doesn’t mean they will hate it forever.
Be an Example of Healthy Eating
This is an important aspect of teaching your children to eat healthy. Set a good example for them now because they will most likely remember their parents’ words, attitudes, and habits about healthy eating. Let them see what they missed. Eat your fruits and vegetables; and tell them how delicious and nutritious it is.
You can go overboard and use your acting skills if you want. Children are observant and interested in the parents around them. Be the fun-loving healthy eaters they want to emulate as they get older.