Try out these tips to get your kids eating healthy food, hopefully you will find some, if not all of these tips useful and feel free to let me know how things go in the comments.
- Plan Meals
Planning meals for the week makes it so much easier for you and ensures that you don’t fall into the habit of grabbing something unhealthy. You don’t have to have a set meal for each day of the week because this can sometimes become boring and monotonous.
The best thing to is is to make a list of some meal ideas and then you can ask your child to choose which one they would like. This gets them involved and also, if they are the one who chose the meal then they are much more likely to want to eat it.
- Introduce 1 new food at a time
When introducing new foods to your child make sure that you don’t overwhelm them by putting a variety of new foods that they’ve never seen before in front of them. This can be confusing and ultimately put them off. So when you are going to introduce a new food make sure that you try and just do one at a time and most importantly you will have to be patient and not be put off if they don’t like things straight away, sometimes it takes a few goes before they will try and enjoy something.
Often they will touch and smell new foods before they are even willing to put them in their mouths and it can take repeated exposure to new foods before they try them. So you must be patient! You can try talking about the smell, texture and colour of food instead of the actual taste which will sometimes help.
- Don’t get upset or annoyed if they don’t like something
One of the most important things when it comes to getting your kids to eat healthier is patience. If you begin to get upset or annoyed at the fact they don’t like or are unwilling to try something then it will put them off even more. Try to keep everything light hearted and if they don’t like something that’s OK, I’m sure there are plenty of foods you didn’t like as a child but now you do!
If you do happen to get annoyed about them not liking something then they are going to relate that food with bad memories which could have long term negative effects with them being able to try out new foods.
- Set a good example
It will be next to impossible for you to get your kids eating healthy food if they see that you aren’t doing the same. One of the most, if not THE most important factor is setting a good example. If they see you eating and enjoying a variety of healthy and nutritious foods then they are going to be much more likely to do the same.
- Try introducing new foods with some of their favourites
This is a great way to get them more willing to try new things. If for example, their favourite meal was macaroni cheese, try putting some vegetables in it such as sweetcorn or spinach. Because they know and like the meal, even with something new in it they will usually be more than happy to give it a go.
- Use dips for fruit and vegetables
Trying to get kids to just eat vegetables on their own can often be a tricky task, but just doing something as simple as serving them with different dips can make the world of difference.
You can use dips such as salsa, humus (my daughter can’t get enough of this stuff), pesto, yoghurt, you get the idea. Vegetables or fruit with dips also makes a great and very healthy snack, so be sure to try it out and experiment with them.
- The importance of fibre
Just as fibre is vitally important for adults to include in their diet it is just as important for children and shockingly many children these days are not getting enough fibre in their diets. There are a variety of different fibre rich foods you can eat such as whole grains, legumes (peas or beans), fruits and vegetables.
The reason that these fibrous foods are so important is because they help play a role in supporting the digestive system, which can in turn reduce the risk of digestive disorders, certain cancers and even diabetes. As well as this, foods rich in fibre tend to be filling as well which will stop overeating.
- Have structured meal times
As well as eating at the table as a family, having proper structured meal times is essential. Your children will eat at the same time every day while they are at school so why not carry this on while at home. Once they know what time they are going to be eating it will stop them trying to snack on things which will ruin their appetite.
Snacks are important as well though, so be sure to give your children healthy and nutritious snacks in between meal times, throughout the day. This will keep them going and stop them getting too hungry before proper meal times.
- Let them make some decisions
Letting your child make some of the decisions will give them sense of pride and make them feel like they are in control. This could be anything from choosing the family meal, picking a new fruit or vegetable to try or even just asking them how they want to help with the preparation of the food in the kitchen.
It may feel a little daunting giving your kids control every now and then but trust me, it will definitely be worth it in the end.
- Don’t forget water
Even though water does not really have any nutrients it is still essential for healthy bodies. In fact, more than half of a child’s bodyweight is made up of water.
It’s best to give them water spread out through the day instead of waiting until they are thirsty. You can try keeping bottles of water that are readily available to them so they can help themselves, this way you don’t really need to worry about it because they will generally tend to drink as much water as they need.
If your child isn’t keen on the taste of water on it’s own you can try adding slices of lemon or lime for added flavour. Lemon is excellent with alkalising abilities to counteract acidic foods, and is good for the body too.
- Keep it up!
Just like anything in life, whether it be working out in the gym, playing golf or learning a new language, unless you keep it up and continue to practice you are never going to get any better at it or see the results that you want.
sometimes be easy to
disheartened when something doesn’t quite go the way you would have
liked but just remember
to stay calm and keep up the good work!