How do we get children to eat healthy
A very good question, but what is the answer I ask myself you can’t force a child to eat something they don’t want. Meal times are probably your least favorite time, you call the kids and when they come they turn there noise up at what you have prepared for them a salad, casserole or even a stew. You no that nutrition is very important for there well-being. But you haven’t got the energy to fight with them.
Reluctantly you put the salad away and open a bag of chicken nuggets just to keep the peace.
So what’s the solution to getting the children to eat healthy.
I have done a little bit of research on this subject, and come up with a few tactics that might help.
Tips and strategies to get kids to eat healthier
Try these tricks to make mealtimes go a little smoother we hope. We can’t promise that they won’t throw there carrot sticks at you, but these ideas may help to take positive steps in the right direction.
- 1. Offer choices
No one likes to be forced to do something, especially kids and toddlers, when they get there mind set on not doing something, I no can remember that well when I was a kid. So that also includes at meal times, I remember, being told you sit there till you eat it and putting my foot down refusing to eat it. In the end being sent to bed with no tea and a clip round the ear.
Your children may be more excited at trying new food or healthy dish if they thought it was there idea. So how about sitting the kids down and plan the weeks meals together. Getting them involved allows them to have there say, they feel they’re being heard. Instead of Big Macs and chicken nuggets every meal give your kids guidelines what each meal has to include. For Example at least three servings of vegetables, serving of carb’s, and one serving of protein.
- 2. Let them make their own plates
Letting your children taking control of their own plate is another way of exercising their own Independence and will get them to try out new things (as its sort of their own idea if you get what I mean.) Meals should generally include protein, a complex carbohydrate and vegetables. Perhaps some fruit an apple maybe and perhaps some milk would be nice which is high in calcium. Giving your child options with in these categories, they will get to exercise choice while still getting nutritional components they need.
- 3 Introduce gateway foods
Children are naturally suspicious of new things, especially food. So what’s the solution? Try combining new foods with healthy options your child already likes. During a child’s first five years of life they’re learning what, when and how much to eat based on their families and cultural practices and attitudes.
While there performing there proffered tastes and habits, try to introduce them to a variety of food-fresh veg and fruits, whole grains, proteins. This may keep them from being so picky in later life. If there reluctant to try new food or they don’t like the taste pair it with something they do like, for example if they don’t like carrot sticks pair it with a dip they enjoy. If there is a vegetable they are not keen on try putting it in an omelet or mixing it with something they do like.
- 4 Snack Smarter
Snacks are a fact of life for us all whether children or adults alike, but its important to keep these snacks in check. Remember to keep snack portions for the kids small. Also, you don’t want to spoil there appetite for there meal later. Snacks should be rich in protein and fiber that will keep your child full for longer, but if its close to meal time try giving a taste of whatever veg you are preparing at the time. Giving your child healthy snack choices will keep snack time interesting while giving them exposure to new foods that you can integrate into dinner and lunch as well.
- 5 Give kids a behind-the-scenes look at food
Kids are more likely, give healthy food a taste if they’re already exposed to it. If you go to a farm or local farmers market this will make them interested as children are naturally curious and will make them more interested at foods like vegetables, grains, fruit and dairy. Let them explore the different shapes colors vegetable and fruit come in and let them pick which ones look best to them. This will get them interested for sure. Show them videos of how food works in the body. “Kids like to understand how things work,” don’t we all.
- 6 Include your kids while cooking
Children are more likely to try new foods if they have had a hand in making it. Basic things like measuring ingredients, stirring or tossing the salad they are all good starting points. As they perform these simple tasks how meals come together, giving them a good start hopeful to prepare their own healthy meals as they get older.
- 7 Don’t force it
As we mentioned before, choice is a key element to encouraging a healthy diet. Although getting the children to try new healthier food, it doesn’t mean they will like all foods you try them to eat, in fact you might just have a picky eater and nothing you try will change that. You will just have to keep trying as we get older our tastes do change. Try offering food in a variety of forms with maybe different seasoning. Never push picky eaters, just do what you can to encourage them.
Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat healthy yourself. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, and don’t skip meals. Limit TV and computer time. When you do, you’ll avoid timeless snacking and encourage activity.