I am pleased to host another guest post from Dylan, from healthwellwise.com. Enjoy!
Photo via Pixabay by BubbleJuice
Many kids aren’t wild about fruits and veggies, and it can be a battle for a lot of parents to get their little ones to eat healthy foods, especially when everyone is busy and time is short. However, teaching kids good habits when they’re young will stick with them well into adulthood and will help them maintain self-esteem and a healthy body weight. It’s so important to help them make good choices now so they can carry them on throughout their life.
One of the best ways to help your children appreciate their vegetables is to get them involved in choosing and preparing them. Kids love spending time in the kitchen, so allowing them to help cook dinner will not only get them interested in eating new foods, it will also be a fun bonding experience for everyone. Make a grocery list together and let your child help you choose the veggies he’d like to try.
Read on for some great tips on how to help your child get excited about healthy eating.
Get him involved
Allowing your child to choose the foods you prepare will give him a good sense of the options that are available, so make the grocery trip a family one. Encourage him to try new and interesting foods by heading to the farmers market to check out seasonal items; look on Pinterest for ideas on how to prepare them in a fun way. You can also start a small garden in your very own backyard, where you and your children can grow your very own vegetables. Kids are often more excited to eat their veggies if they had a hand in growing them.
Some veggies can taste a little plain when they’re steamed or baked, so add a little butter or garlic salt for a pinch of flavor that will help your little one appreciate it more. You can also get a little sneaky and add grated veggies into foods like meatloaf and casseroles; this is a helpful trick for kids who are loathe to try new foods or who are picky eaters.
Cook it up
Open up the world of the kitchen and have your child help with the cooking. Keep things safe by tying back long hair and wearing aprons, and have a talk about staying safe while cutting veggies. Bring in a little science and math by connecting those concepts to measuring and mixing; this is a great learning experience for your child and may even help the process become something the two of you do to bond. You can also look for recipes that don’t require cooking at all; create a fun little relish tray full of finger-foods, which most kids love.
Don’t make it a surprise
Surprising your kids with a new food is generally not advisable, since anything new on the plate can automatically mean a pass for picky eaters. One of the best ways to help your child try new, healthy foods is to prepare a few at the same time and let him choose which one he wants. Allowing him to feel some measure of control will help him be more open to trying new things.
Make it fun
Many kids will be a little more flexible if you make something seem
instead of mandatory. Serve veggies on kebabs or give him a bowl of cut-up fruit and a handful of toothpicks and let him build a fruit salad-monster. Allowing your child to use his imagination and get creative will help him see that healthy food can be fun and delicious.
Getting your kids excited about eating well doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking, either for you or for your loved ones. With a little planning and a positive attitude, you and your family can learn how to make healthy choices that will last for a lifetime.