How to Help Your Children Eat Nutritiously
Proper nutrition is paramount for our children. It is crucial that kids eat the right amount of nutrients to keep them healthy, energized and growing properly. Good nutrition means that they eat their vegetables and fruits while staying away from junk food and unhealthy treats that, frankly, taste really good (see – loaded with sugar and/or fat)!
But, there are times when our kids can become a little picky with the food they eat, ending up eating the same kind of food all the time just because they hit on something they like. If you start trying to introduce vegetables, they may pout and refuse to eat them. Instead, they will probably opt for fried foods, sandwiches and sweet treats… if they have had exposure to these foods.
So how do you help your children eat nutritious food? Here are some tips below:
- Make something new – Instead of serving the same kind of food or the same way of cooking their food, you can try creating something new – of similar ingredients, but prepared differently. You can choose to serve raw vegetables with dip than the usual cooked ones, for example.
- Make it interesting – Boring-looking foods are not at all attractive to kids. Be more creative in how you present their foods so it intrigues or excites them. You can add more colors and play with various shapes and sizes to .
- Cook your meals – Buying take out or using a lot of premade meals can also lessen the enthusiasm of your kids. Try cooking your own meals so you can add the good stuff in it. Get your kids involved and set out (healthy) options for them so they can pick what they want to eat. Give them guidelines like “Pick which two of these you want to go in tonight’s meal.”
- Make mealtime fun – Kids love fun. If they are entertained, they will divert their attention from what they are eating, to what they are enjoying. Talk to each other or tell stories while at the table.
- Gradually introduce meals – Do not overwhelm your kids with the instant change of food. Instead, you can introduce small portions at a time of new stuff as you wean out the less-than-healthy items.
Never force your kids – This can be a hard one to keep in mind, but the more you force your children, the more they are likely not to eat (Shock right? Kids can be stubborn). Explain to them that this is what the family is eating and everyone is going to eat it. If they refuse to eat it, tell them it will be in the refrigerator for them when they get hungry. It may never be their favorite meal, but they will get their nutrients!