5 Ways to Get Your Kids Eating Healthier (... Without Them Realizing It!)
You’re not alone. We all know that getting kids to eat healthily can be a challenge, especially when they are in their picky eating phase, which typically begins at about two years of age and doesn’t end until they leave home! Here are 5 ways to get your kids eating healthier:
Here Are Five Tactics for Winning the Pediatric Nutrition War:
Make Tasty Substitutions
Have you noticed that your little ones seem to go crazy for those healthy options at the fast-food restaurant or grocery store? They get excited over a bowl of plain flavored chicken breast, or even better yet… tofu! Your kids probably think they are getting away with something sneaky when they chow down on those seemingly diet-friendly choices. The sad truth is that these foods are often deficient in nutrition and taste appeal. Kids may love them because they don’t know any better, but you do — and now so do we!
You can easily steer your family towards the path of good health by making some substitutions of your own. There’s little more than cutting up some fresh fruit, blending it with some ice-cold low-fat yogurt and a little sugar, if you prefer, and giving it to your kids for breakfast. This may take some experimentation at first, but it’s worth the effort.
Get Creative With Snacks
A lot of parents think that chips are healthy because they don’t contain any fat. Unfortunately, however, this fatty snack is very high in salt (as well as hydrogenated vegetable fats). Eating too many salty foods can elevate blood pressure, making children more sensitive to heart attacks and strokes when they get older. Instead of providing your children with potato chips for after-school snacks, give them fresh fruit slices or a small container of cottage cheese mixed with berries — even something as simple as almonds do a great job in providing a quick dose of well-balanced protein.
Keep Healthy Foods Attractive
If your child only eats certain vegetables because he likes the way they look, try peeling off all of their outer layers and cutting them into tiny pieces before serving. This may sound like harsh treatment at first but remember that you’re doing it for your good! Many vegetables have dangerous substances called nitrates on their outer layer, which will make kids sick if consumed in large amounts. Removing the skin will make it easier to eat these nutritious foods without worrying about getting sick. Peeling fruits is another simple tactic that will significantly increase the appeal of things like apples and oranges, even bananas… be sure to trim off the very top of the peel as this is often where most of the pesticides have settled in.
Teach Your Children to Like Healthy Foods
Every child responds differently to new foods, and it may take a bit of trial and error before you find out which ones are right for your particular child. This is where patience comes into play! Unlike their parents, children don’t acquire their food preferences overnight… they develop them over time and with repeated exposure to different tastes and flavors. Make sure that you introduce the healthiest foods first (fruits, vegetables, and lean meats)! It’s also important to offer kids plenty of opportunities to taste things on their terms without pressuring them too much about trying something new — make sure they know that it’s available. They’ll most likely try it eventually!
Meal Plan With Your Kids in Mind
Kids have very different tastes than their parents. This is especially the case for food, so why not put this to work for you? If you’re having trouble getting your children interested in healthy food, let them participate by letting them help choose what goes into the meals you prepare. Allowing them to make some of the decisions will make them feel a part of things genuinely. Remember that this is about quality time — as well as good nutrition!
It’s not always easy to get kids eating healthier, but these five tips can help you do it. Let us know in the comments below if any of them work for your child! Have a great day, and thanks for reading our blog post about getting your kids on board with healthy food without them realizing what happened.