I just love when I see children eating healthy. Not only are their small bodies getting the nourishment they need, but it is setting them up for a great food and health relationship later into their lives. Getting children to make healthy choices isn’t always easy and sometimes it takes a little (or a lot) of creativity in the kitchen to make this happen.
5 Tips To Get That Munchkin Excited For Their Healthy Choices
1. Be a good role model! This one is simple but the most important, your children are not going to eat healthy if they don’t see you eating healthy. I also love to make subliminal comments while I’m eating…..”Oh this apple is sooo sweet and delicious, I can’t wait eat another one”, remember whatever works.
2. Invite your children into the kitchen. Have them help you prepare the food, give them some choices of what to make or to add in. Always offer a variety, as you never know what they will choose and enjoy, sometimes it is very surprising. My pickiest eater who will not go near a strawberry loves anything with nori wraps and sprouts.
3. Use meal time as a huge learning opportunity. We are all familiar with those power struggles we often bring on ourselves by always telling our children what we want them to do, and they never do it. Instead of telling them they need to eat this healthy food, educate them. Children love hearing information and facts. Broccoli might sound much more exciting to eat if they knew that it is full of vitamin C to help build their immune system and it is so high in calcium it will give them strong bones for all that growing that is happening.
4. Serve it in a fun way. Lets face it, veggies and dip can get boring. Try new recipes, eat it out of a fun dish (muffin tin), play a game with it, eat it with a funny utensil, get a fun straw for smoothies, eat with a friend, go on a picnic (both indoors and outdoors are fun),the ideas are endless.
5. Give it a fun name! This one has been a lifesaver for me. Who doesn’t want to eat a Spiderman Web Salad??? How does Mint Chip Smoothie sound? You get where I’m going.
One extra tip. Don’t stress!! Meal time is supposed to be a fun time to spend together. Eating habits and tastes will develop and change over a lifetime.