There are times when getting your child to eat is a huge task as there is always that one kid that chooses to be the picky eater. No matter what you may put in from of him or her you can’t seem to find that dish that they will like. So when you try to make them eat healthy you can find that this is a job within its self.
We all want our kids to eat healthier but sometimes it’s just not in their agenda. They will refuse to eat what you put in front of them because most children are not used to eating healthy. We need to find alternative ways of getting out children to eat healthy and we first have to determine the way in which we will accomplish this goal.
Here are 10 Tips to Making Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits
1. Lead By Example
Foods you should be eating are foods the entire family should be eating. Your children will not grow eating veggies if you don’t.
2. New Fruits and Veggies
Introduce a new fruit or vegetable each week, then plan one meal a day that incorporates one fruit or veggie. This is a great way for your kids to learn how diverse fruits and vegetables can be.
3. After School Snack
Have a list of snacks your kids can have when they come home from school. If it is not in the list, it shouldn’t be readily accessible.
4. A Sweet Alternative
Use natural alternatives to sugary products. One great example: use berries instead of syrup on pancakes.
5. It’s Dinner Time!
Work on having regular eating times. Four to six snacks and meals a day is recommended. The more consistent your eating schedule the steadier your metabolism will be.
6. Cut It Up!
Have fruits and vegetables already cut up and easily accessible in the fridge. A bowl of fruit salad is a great snack any time.
7. “You Pick it Out…”
Have the kids help pick out the fruits and vegetables at the store. Kids will be more likely to eat the ones they picked.
8. “Can I Have Pop?”
The occasional soda is OK every once in a while, but avoid sugary drinks with meals. Instead, have a glass of water or milk on the table so that soda isn’t an option.
9. Eat Together
Eating together is very important not just because it is a great time to spend with the whole family but also because the kids can see you enjoy new and nutritious foods.
10. Start Small
Make small changes to begin. Keep less sugary drinks in the house, switch to whole wheat products, and add fruits and veggies to every meal.
More Healthy Eating Tips for Kids
When you first make your attempt at healthy eating there may be a lot of trial and error before you find what works with your child. Some children are turned off by food that is green, so try putting your green vegetables in other food that the child does enjoy. For instance, soup is something you can always get a child to eat.
You may be surprised to know that celery sticks is something that your child would enjoy eating especially dipped in a salad dressing such as fat free ranch. This is a healthy snack that your child may enjoy, if you just can’t get them to eat celery try carrot sticks.
Another way you can encourage your child to eat healthy food is to let them help prepare the meal. Children enjoy helping mom or dad out in the kitchen and they will also want to eat what they just helped prepare.
Steer clear of those sugary sodas and unhealthy snacks that most children love. An alternative to soda pop is juice. Read the labels before purchasing because some juice has more sugar than soda.
You could also try juicing, where you can juice fruits and vegetables to make a delicious and healthy drink or smoothie. What child can resist a smoothie?
Give your children food and drinks that will build their bones such as milk, regular tap water that provide the fluoride which is good for the teeth.
In terms of your child’s oral hygiene and avoiding gum disease foods/drinks like Milk and cheese as well as chicken are amongst foods that are regularly said to be good for maintaining their oral hygiene as they re-deposit minerals taken from the teeth by acids in foods/drinks.
There are also creative ways that you can “hide” healthy foods in the foods that your child enjoys. For example, adding vegetables to spaghetti and casseroles is a way in which you can get your child to eat them.
Try fresh fruit such as apples with a sweet dipping sauce or cut up fruit to put over cereal. And don’t force your child to eat something that he/she doesn’t want to eat because it can make matters worse.
Developing a Healthy Child
Children need nutrients that adults do not because they are still in the growth process of life. A balanced diet for kids should include fruits and vegetables, whole grain and dairy and getting your child to eat these foods can be taxing at times. Figuring out creative ways to get them to eat will help in providing your child with those healthy foods that will make them healthy.
Remember don’t force or bribe. Just make it fun for them and you will find that it works wonders in your child’s development.
This article was written by Jem who is a freelance writer and health fanatic. He is keen to educate the general public on gum disease/gum treatment, general/oral health and nutrition issues. You can follow Jem and read more on Twitter at @writerjem.