Getting children to eat healthily is every parent’s nightmare. Early on, they develop a craving for salty and sweet food, and green foods make them run for cover. Meals become battlegrounds, and in the end, parents are exhausted and at their wit’s end, and the child is happily munching away on chicken nuggets, french fries, and soda. The plate of chicken, rice, and broccoli sits cold, alone, and forlorn. You are desperate for advice, convinced your child is either going to starve or weigh 100 pounds. You know child nutrition is so important. There are many tips and tricks to get your kids to eat healthily.
Don’t Let Your Kids Get Hooked On Sugar
You should eliminate soda, sugary drinks, and snacks full of sugar from your home. If it’s not there, then there will be no battle with your child wanting to eat them in place of healthy food or drink. Save the sweets for rare, special treats like holidays or birthdays. They may be unhappy at first but will soon come to realize that junk food isn’t going to be a regular part of their diet anymore. Their tastes will eventually change to appreciate the natural flavors of food and the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Be Creative With Food
Let your child help you prepare it. Let them have a blast shucking corn or shelling peas. Let them arrange the food in shapes before putting them into the pot. When you serve them food, serve it in a fun and creative way. Make a happy face with fruit on a pancake. Make a forest with trees with mashed potatoes and broccoli. I know our parent’s generation would be horrified with kids playing with food so grandma might object. But do it anyway if it will get them to eat the healthy food you put in front of them.
Let Them Make Their Own Food Choices
Parents should allow their kids to pick out foods they would like to eat. Of course, this needs to be done within reason and with a healthy selection of food for them to choose from. Children will object if parents are too controlling. Relax, and give them some room to explore their own tastes and likes.
Don’t Make Your Kids Clear Their Plates
If they refuse to finish but have eaten a fair amount of food, then they may be genuinely full. If they have left a substantial amount of food on the plate, then you can let them leave the table but inform them they will get nothing else to eat until the next meal if they do.
Give Them Small Portions To Start
Use kid-sized plates, bowls, and silverware. Let them serve themselves as soon as they are old enough. They will feel confident, and it will teach them portion control. Start with small portions and tell them they can always come back for more if they are still hungry.
Have Them Try New Foods
Make a rule that they must try a portion of new food at least once, and then if they don’t like it, they can refuse. But offer it again another time as kids can be finicky and may give it a try at a different time.
Show Them By Example
Children watch what we do quite intently, and they are excellent copycats. If they see us eating salty, sweet junk foods, then they are going to want that too. But if they see us making good, healthy food choices, then they will do the same.
Stick To A Strict MealTime Schedule
When you stick to a regular eating schedule, it discourages kids from “grazing” throughout the day, which keeps them from eating properly at mealtimes. Children require three meals and two snacks a day. You can offer them some extra portions of healthy choices at snack times if they refuse a meal at the regular time so they will get the nutrition they need.
Getting children to eat healthy and body nourishing foods can be a real challenge, but it’s not an impossibility. Expose them to healthful food choices, and they will learn to like and eat them. Following these tips will help your child develop a lifetime of healthy eating.