Getting your kids to eat healthy can be a daunting task for us parents. The way to have your kids eat healthy is to start early. As soon as your baby is ready to start solid foods make sure you add the vegetables first before you introduce fruit. Also before they can talk and ask for french fries and Goldfish crackers, give them the foods you want them to have and they are willing to eat. This may be only a few things that the two of you can agree on but it is a great start.
If your child is past this stage of life and are heading in the wrong direction when it comes to food, then try these steps.
- Add their favorite fruit to meals. Adding fruit like strawberries, blueberries, apples, cantaloupe, mango or pineapple to meals are easy to add as a side dish. Make sure you cut them up small, kids like small foods they can easily pick up with their hands (must be why they like chips, fries and crackers). Doing this will increase the chances of them eating it.
- Add a little salad to meals with something they like in it, like their favorite fruit, nuts or dried cranberries.
- Vegetables may be a little tricky. Many parents top green veggies like broccoli with cheese to get kids to eat it.
- Cutting vegetables in fun shapes also helps. Carrots can be cut in fun shapes. Squash can be made to look like spaghetti by baking yellow squash for about 50 minute, cut the squash in half long ways, scoop out seeds and and use a fork to scrape out the strings of squash. Add your favorite sauce and your done! Try this link for more information 3 different ways to cook spaghetti squash.
- Another trick is tell them how a specific vegetable is good for them. For example, if they play sports tell them that spinach will help them to build muscle or that carrots are good for their eyes. This definitely worked when my child was sick, telling her that eating vegetables will help her get sick less made her way more willing to take a least a few bites of veggies on her plate.
- When the weather is right try growing a few vegetables in a garden and make sure your child helps you plant it. This will get your kids excited about learning more about vegetables.
- Have your child help you in the kitchen. After you cut up the fruit, have them bag it or place it in a container for you. Also make your own trail mix. Have your child put together their own trial mix. Let them pick what they want to put in it as long as it is not too much sweets or candy.
- Let them pick what vegetables your family will eat for dinner. This is really great if you have more than one child, each child can have a day to pick what veggies will be served with dinner.
- Keep encouraging them. Make sure you keep trying to get them to eat healthy. No matter how much they reject healthy foods, if you keep encouraging them to try a variety of fruits and vegetables they will find more healthy foods that they end up liking.