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Encouraging good eating in kids of all ages should never be a difficult task. Everyone, especially children, needs vegetables to maintain a healthy and happy body. Teaching them when they are young will help them maintain a healthy eating habit that will help them keep it even when they are adults. In this article, we will talk about several tips and tricks on how to get kids to eat healthy foods.
How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Foods
As a parent myself, getting my children to eat vegetables has been one of my problems before. Through experience and countless research, I have come up with thirteen tips that I learned along the way to help encourage my child to eat vegetables. It is also essential to know that children did not grow with an automatic aversion to eating vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods.
Because of mass media and exposure to unhealthier food options, children become more inclined to eat the unhealthier options. By helping introduce children to healthier food options at a younger age, we can help them learn the benefits of eating healthier and help them start eating healthy while they are still young.
That being said, listed below are the different ways you can help your child eat healthy foods.
- Help them Understand the Benefits of Eating Vegetables
Have you ever encountered a time when your child will ask you why you eat vegetables, and your answer is because it’s healthy? Well, “just because it’s healthy” might not be enough explanation for our children. You can try explaining to your child the benefits of eating vegetables more in-depth by showing some instructional videos online that are child-friendly.
2. Focus on Teaching Children about Eating Healthier in General
When teaching children to eat healthier, always focus on the overall diet and not just eating specific foods. In general, children should eat less processed foods to get healthier eating habits overall. If your child does not want to eat certain vegetables or vegetables overall, helping them understand that a healthy lifestyle is limited to vegetables will help them greatly.
3. Take your child with you to the grocery
Including your child or children at the beginning of the process – by asking them to help choose the foods that you will buy at the grocery. You can also teach your child how to choose healthier alternatives at the grocery and how to read nutritional labels.
4. Ask your Child the Food they Prefer
One thing we often forget is asking our children the kind of food they prefer. Knowing what they want will help us understand the food we need to prepare, which they will love.
5. Teach by Example
Children learn most of their habits from their parents. That is why the best way to teach your child to eat vegetables is by showing them that you are eating and enjoying vegetables too. Slowly include vegetables in your family meals by making a side salad or a yummy stir-fry.
6. Just Keep on Trying
New things might be too much for children – especially when it comes to vegetables. One way to help your child eat healthy foods is by trying and trying to find the type of vegetable or dish they prefer.
7. Make Cooking an Activity for you and your child
Another thing I have noticed is how children are more receptible in eating foods that they helped prepare. The sense of fulfilment any person has in cooking and preparing also extends to children too.
8. Prepare Vegetables in a More Appealing Way
As a child, I can never forget how the vegetables served did not taste that appealing. I only learned later on in life that vegetables do not have to taste awful. That being said, as parents, we need to know how to prepare vegetables in a more appealing way to entice our young ones to eat vegetables more. Remember, don’t feed your children food that you won’t eat yourself.
9. Make Eating an Interactive Experience
Children love eating food that they can dip in hummus or ketchup. An easy way to make children eat vegetables is by slicing carrots and preparing a delicious dip.
10. Provide Healthier Alternatives
Vegetables are not the only healthy foods out in the market. There are fruits, wholewheat bread, and countless others that are also healthy, which your child might enjoy. You can also look for healthier alternatives to what your child usually eats. You can replace chips with a healthier version that also tastes the same. By doing this, you are teaching your child that good food can also be beneficial.
11. Include Vegetables in Your Child’s Favorite Foods
Including vegetables in foods your child already loves is an easy way to get your children to eat vegetables without having them try something new. As we have discussed earlier, your children might oppose changes. That is why easing vegetables and other healthy foods is a helpful way to make sure our children grow up healthy and happy.
12. Make Every Meal Time a Bonding Moment
Eating should not be just a task that you do stay alive. Eating should also be a way to bond with your family. As the saying goes, “A family who eats together, stays together.” Making your child enjoy mealtime will surely help them eat healthier.
13. Place importance on Home-Cooked Meals
One way to ensure that your child is eating the healthiest possible food is by preparing it yourself. Cutting down your fast food intake will undoubtedly help ensure that your child is eating healthier.
The process on how to get kids to eat healthy foods might appear complicated at first. But through time and learning your childrens’ wants will significantly help you in teaching your children to eat healthier. Always keep in mind that even it might seem hard at first to help your child have a healthier diet, this will be worth it in the future when your child grows up to become healthy and strong. Every moment with your children should be enjoyed and cherished, and this includes teaching them how to eat healthily.