10 Ways to Get Your Kids To Love Healthy Eating
How to get kids to eat healthy/veggies:
1. Start in the morning. If they see vegetables on their plate with every meal, including breakfast, they will most likely eat more than if served just at dinner time. Choose variety; zucchini carrot oatmeal, spinach pancakes, beet smoothie, or even some veggies served on the side. You will often see pink radish ears sticking out from my kid's pancakes
2. Eat with them- exposure and modeling. I can't say this enough. If you visibly enjoy your food, they are more likely to enjoy their meal. Especially if it's off your plate. 😉
3. Don't sweat it. If you make too big of a deal about a certain food, most kids will protest for negative attention. Stay consistent. Donʼt let their moods, teething, growth spurts or peer pressure cause you to second guess yourself. Serve healthy food when YOU want and let them decide if and how much they will eat.
4. Cook veggies in different ways. Roast them, steam them, eat them raw, put them in soup. Try them in many ways, many times. Can take 10-15 times before you like something. And don’t forget about spices for added flavor. Cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, sumac, Ceylon cinnamon, etc
5. Teach them. Kids love to learn! Show them how to grow vegetables and how their body uses the nutrients. Even if you take a small terra cotta pot and plant some seeds- it’s fun to see it grow and to see the magic in their eyes
6. Eat in different locations. Eat socially, have inside picnics, outside picnics, trunk picnics (sitting in the back of your car 🚗). Mixing it up can lead to trying new foods.
7. Make sure they are hungry at mealtime. In my opinion, the best way to sabotage a meal is over- snacking and yes, too much milk. Create set snack times that end an hour or two before a meal is served. Kids are much more open to eating what is served when they're hungry. And sometimes you need to adjust mealtime if they don’t have a snack, serving dinner a little earlier.
8. Let them use their best asset- their imagination. Allow them to be a chef, a server, a sous chef, etc. Having their apron goes a long way. And let them cook with you. Kids take pride knowing they contributed and thus are more likely to try something if they made it.
9. Take them to the store/farmers market. When you enter the produce section, this is an excellent opportunity to allow your child to exert some autonomy 💪You can say: "You may pick a vegetable or fruit to buy." Not only do they feel a sense of independence, but the child will be more willing and excited to try the new vegetable that they picked at home 🏡. Does this always work? NO, but it is an excellent place to start😉
10. Make your lunchboxes fun. Talk with them about what’s inside and how they can apply their imagination. I talk about Lunchbox adventures with my kids, ranging from hiking, beach day, space, construction, forest, snow time, sea adventure (your child is the shark), etc. The different foods represent different items on the adventure. And remember that kids don’t always have enough time to each lunch as they aren’t given that much time and they are busy socializing. Can still offer the rest of their lunchbox after school pick-up.