“Yuck,” “Gross,” “I don’t want to eat that!” If you are used to hearing these along with many other disparaging words and phrases about the healthy food you place in front of your children, then you are not alone. Eating healthy food is hard enough as an adult; it takes self-discipline and a lot of hard work, but getting your children to eat healthy food is a herculean task because it doesn’t just take hard work, sometimes it takes a miracle.
How can you get your children to eat healthier foods more often? By making healthy food fun. Here are some tips and suggestions on how you can make healthy food fun for your kids:
- Start early
Start good eating habits from the beginning. Toddlers need to be familiar with healthy foods as they develop. It can be easier to buy unhealthy snacks and meals with the hectic schedule that comes when being parents, but strive to give them the nutrients they need early. This gets children in the habit of eating healthy foods so that they will have a higher chance of eating well in their future.
- Be Creative
Try something new; try buying some new and interesting fruits and veggies. Be creative about the normal everyday fruits and veggies you use. Create a face out of veggies or have your kids create a picture with their fruit. Cut up their sandwiches in an ingenious way—like an owl; give it eyes made out of grapes and a beak made out of cheese. The options are limitless to what shapes you can make with food.
- Be Playful
The main source of learning for kids is through example, and they are eager to learn from parents. Be happy and cheerful while eating. They latch onto the emotions in their environment; if you are playful and happy when eating, then your child is bound to follow. The idea that food is another form of playing is then planted in their cute little heads.
You’ll have to test out different methods and ideas for those kids that are extremely picky eaters. Basically what needs to be focused on is shifting the child’s focus. And one way to do this is putting food on sticks; vegetable kabobs and fruit skewers that encourage healthy eating. Here are a few suggested foods that can go on sticks:
- Let them Help
All children are eager to help with making food. See if your kids would want to help make their meals with you. That way they can feel more involved in the food making process, plus they have a higher chance of eating what they make. There are many benefits for children helping parents make food. One, they learn how to make food for themselves and can be more self-reliant as they mature. Second, when children get in the habit of helping in the kitchen sooner or later you won’t have to constantly be making meals for them.
Teaching your children how to eat healthy is a challenge that takes patience and persistence but in the long run it will benefit your child their whole life. So don’t give up, just remember how much you will bless their lives in the long run.
Rachael Largent is a content creator who enjoys writing about healthy foods, children, and cherry pedestals.