Are you struggling to get your kids to eat healthy? Kids are often picky eaters and refuse to try new foods based upon looks or smell alone. It is important to introduce healthy food choices to your child at an early age so that they learn to eat a wide variety of healthy foods. Plus, you want to introduce to your child portion control when it comes to eating foods that they enjoy so that they don’t wind up obese as a teenager or adult. Today, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to get your kids to eat healthy.
Introduce New Healthy Food Choices Often
I always follow the “one-bite” rule in our house. I at least make them try it. Kids usually say they don’t like something before they have even tried it. Please don’t get frustrated with them if they do take a bite and don’t like it. This is a normal reaction that most kids have to trying new foods. Plus, it isn’t good to force your child to eat something they don’t like. It takes up to 8 to 10 times for a child to reject a food before they actually decide if they like it. So keep offering them health food choices until they have had a chance to determine if they really like it or not.
Allow Them to Help
I love letting my kids help me pick out healthy foods at the grocery store. I do this so that they have an opportunity to eat some of the healthy choices that they enjoy eating. You can also allow them to help you prepare the food too. Allowing them to help you with these tasks as teaches them valuable life skills too.
Pair the New Foods with Other Foods That They Enjoy
I found that introducing my children to new healthy food choice usually goes better when you serve it with other foods that they enjoy. My kids have been more interested and willing to try it. Again, I do ask my kids to take “one-bite”.
Never Tell Your Child That Certain Foods are Off Limits
It is important that you never tell your child that certain foods are off limits. Instead, you want them to learn that certain foods should be consumed in moderation. Plus, when I tell myself that a certain food like ice cream is off limits, I usually end up craving or wanting it more. Restricting foods could even cause your child to have an eating disorder, bulimia, or to feel guilty or ashamed when they do eat certain foods. Instead, the next time your child chooses a snack that is unhealthy, take the time to talk to them about nutrition.
Keep Healthy Food Choices Easily Available for Your Child
Do keep a variety of healthy food choices easily available for your child to eat. Your child is more likely to make healthy choices if there is plenty of healthy choices for them to choose from. Do limit the amount of junk food that
Offer Praise When They Choose Healthy Foods
When you catch your child making healthy choices, do offer words of praise. They are more likely continue to make healthy choices if they are praised for it. Also, don’t nag them for their unhealthy food choices.
Never Use Food as a Reward
Using food as a reward could actually contribute to weight problems when they are older. Instead, of using food as a reward, you should try to use another reward system such as money, points to be able to do something fun, ect.
Mix Vegetables Inside of Other Foods
I have seen other moms mix vegetables into other foods such as meatloaf or muffins. Most kids don’t realize that they are even eating their vegetables if it is mixed in with other foods. Get creative and try a few new recipes. You can even try adding vegetables to dishes that they already like too!
Swap Your Current Recipes with Healthier Choices
You can easily swap out your favorite recipes with healthier options. More than likely these simple changes will go unnoticed and your kids will be eating healthier alternatives. For example, you can swap out sour cream with yogurt or low fat sour cream, rice with brown rice or quinoa, white bread with whole grain wheat bread, tortillas with whole wheat tortillas, ect.
Get Your Kids Used to Drinking Water
Do get your kids used to drinking water from an early age so that they aren’t used to drinking sugary drinks. Sugary drinks can easily pack on the pounds and they are filled with empty calories.
Eat Meals Together
There are so many benefits of sitting down together as a family to eat meals. It is proven that families who sit down to eat dinner together have better nutrition.
Serve Your Children Their Food
Never let your child serve their own food. They have no clue what size of portion they should be eating. As a parent, you should ensure that your child is getting proper portions of each food group. Do remember that it takes roughly 15 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. So do think twice before serving your child seconds or thirds. This could lead to unhealthy eating habits later in life.
Smoothies are a great way to get your child to consume healthy vegetables. Simply add vegetables such as kale or spinach, along with fruit, low fat yogurt, and ice. I gave my 4 year old a smoothie and he loved it. It tasted sweet and he had no clue that it had spinach in it.
Consult Your Child’s Pediatrician
If you are concerned with your child’s weight, you should always discuss it with your child’s pediatrician. Never put your growing child on a weight loss plan or encourage them to gain weight. Allow your child’s doctor to make that determination.
Kid’s tend to be picky but it is possible to get them to eat healthy. I hope that this article was helpful and that you learned how to get your kids to eat healthy.
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