Good eating habits are learned. Teaching your kids healthy eating habits while they are still young will help them make healthy food choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.
Unfortunately, with the vast choice of junk and fast food out there, it is no surprise that kids these days would rather eat chips, candies and chocolates rather than healthy meals.
Furthermore, kids today are under continuous assault by food advertising, making junk food very desirable to their eyes. As parents, it is our duty to make sure that our kids are eating right and getting the proper nutrition that their rapidly growing bodies need.
With this, let me share to you some tips on how to make your kids eat healthy foods. Even though it isn’t possible to get a child to like all healthy foods, there are some ways to get your child to try and hopefully like at least a few of them.
You can be as creative as you like, as getting kids to eat healthy foods can be a little harder than you may think.
1. Sneak the healthy food in. Even though it would be great if your kid understood the importance of fruits and vegetables, this is not always possible.
If you can not get them to eat good food willingly, there are ways to sneak them in, such as making muffins out of bananas or apples, or pizza with spinach on it.
2. Call fruits and vegetables by funny names. You can refer to broccoli as “trees”, making them more fun to eat. There are many different names you can call fruits and vegetables, even making up your own if you prefer.
Most kids prefer to eat foods that sound fun.
3. Make the foods taste better. Ranch dressing is great for broccoli, while peanut butter is a great topping for celery. There are several combinations for vegetables that can make them taste much better.
You can let your child pick a topping for a vegetable; even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally like yourself.
4. Dress the vegetables up. Just as much as calling them names help kids eat healthy foods, making them look funny also helps. You can do this by making funny designs on the plate, or setting them up to look like people.
Although some parents don’t like their kids playing with their food, sometimes it helps to get them to eat healthier.
5. Involve your children in shopping and preparing meals. Cooking and shopping for ingredients together will give you hints about your kid’s food preferences. It is also the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about nutrition.
Like while you’re in the vegetable section, you can make a mini-lecture about the benefits that they can get when they eat more carrots or broccoli, for example.
Your kids would also be more willing to eat something that they have helped prepare.
6. Name healthy meals after their favorite cartoon character or celebrity. Making foods and drinks sound fun can make them more appetizing to your kids.
For example, you can name a fruit smoothie as “Justin Bieber smoothie” or a Veggie Tuna casserole as “Ben 10 casserole”.
7. Mask it. Did you know that you can make your kids eat more vegetables without them knowing it? How? It’s quite simple, just mask it. You can puree vegetables and add them into their favorite dishes.
Who says you have to tell your child what’s inside the pie? This is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your child’s daily diet.
8. Set a good example for your child. Kids try to emulate whatever adults do. From playing dress up with mommy’s clothes and heels to putting on makeup, they like to try these things because they think it’s cool to be an adult.
So if you show your kids that eating healthy is cool and so “adult-like”, then this too could become cool to them.
9. Cut back on junk but give treats from time to time. Having less junk food around the house can make your kids eat more fruits and healthier snacks. However, it is important that you allow your kids to indulge once in a while in sugary cereals and treats so that they won’t feel completely deprived.
There are several ways to make your kids eat healthier, but to make them enjoy it also has to be fun as well. This isn’t always an easy task, because kids normally don’t like foods that are good for them.
It can however, be done with a bit of creativity. Hopefully, doing this will help your child develop a love of healthy foods for the rest of their lives.