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I am sure that every parent has had the battle over getting their kids to choose to eat a bowl of strawberries over a bowl of ice cream. I don’t know if it is something that is innate in children, but it always seems like, no matter who the child is, that they opt for the junk food over the good-for-them foods, even when they are offered the healthier options more than the junk food options.
If you are a parent who is struggling to get your kids to eat healthy foods, don’t succumb to the battle; here are some tips that you can use in order to get your kids to not only eat – but actually enjoy – munching on healthy foods.
Get them Involved. Instead of just choosing what healthy foods your kids are going to eat for them, let them be involved in the choice. Invite them to pick out different fruits and vegetables in the produce section of your grocery store. Let them select the types of yogurts, cheeses and other dairy products they want to eat. Offer them a choice of grains and let the one that they eat be their own choice. Kids like to make their own decisions and allowing them to choose what types of healthy foods they eat can help to increase the amount of healthy foods they actually consume.
Make it Fun. Instead of just preparing a big plate of veggies or fruits, make the plate a little bit more fun. Create a smiley face out of a collection of fruits or veggies, make a recipe with a fun name, like ‘ants on a log’ – celery with cream cheese topped with raisins. When healthy food is fun to eat, kids will actually enjoy eating it.
Tasty Recipes. Healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless food (as an adult, you already know that, but your kids may not.) To teach them that healthy food is tasty, make some really tasty dishes that are filled with good-for-you foods. Make pizzas topped with vegetables. Make a pasta that is loaded with veggies and cheeses. Combine a bunch of different fruits inside the skin of a watermelon to make a fruit salad. To make it even more fun, have your kids help you prepare these tasty, yet healthy meals.
Family Affair. You’ve heard the old saying, ‘lead by example.’ Well, this applies to eating healthy, too. If your kids see you eating a banana or an apple instead of a brownie or a bowl of ice cream, chances are that they are going to follow suit. You are their number one teacher and teaching them to eat right starts with you.