If you have young kids, at times it can be a hugely difficult task to get them to eat healthy foods. Especially if they are used to eating what they want, or have an especially strong fondness for chocolate, you may have to effectively wean them off of it, in order to help them eat healthy.
But there are ways in which you can get your kids to eat healthy, even without them realizing it. Some of the best ways work with those who are younger, which are generally the most difficult – teenagers at least understand the value of healthy eating even if they are against it as a whole.
The first thing to do is what we just mentioned – attempt to make your children understand the value of eating healthy. Explain to them that, although they may not like it, healthy food is good for them. Explain to them in what ways it is – a lot of children tend to already know that certain foods are ‘good’ for them, but as far as they are concerned they are the ones that taste ‘bad’.
You do not need to use in-depth science, but simple things such as ‘milk will make your bones strong’, or if water is too bland ‘it will help flush out bad things’. Simple to understand things are really the best ways to go about doing this when helping your kids to eat healthy. As da Vinci said: ‘simplicity is the greatest sophistication’ – making things simpler will get you to your goal.
Unfortunately, this does not always work. As mentioned though, you need to make sure that children like what they eat, for one reason or another. If convincing them it’s good for them and will stop bad things doesn’t work, you can effectively trick them, or at least distract them.
A good way to do this is to use things they like, on TV for example. If they are a particular fan of SpongeBob, then be on the lookout for SpongeBob pancake cutters, or food with SpongeBob logos. A packed lunch box can have designs similar to this on it as well, all in order to try to get your kids to eat healthier, as if they are busy focusing on how awesome they think the food looks, they won’t complain much about how it tastes.
Following on from this, you can also let your kids customize their own food as much as possible. For example, consider pizza or pancakes. You may think that these are innately unhealthy, but this is not the case. If you allow your children to add their own toppings from a selection you provide, you can make some very healthy and savory snacks for them to enjoy, which are extremely healthy yet still tasty and fun.
Consider also using fun equipment – if you can get a safe kitchen meat slicer, you can guarantee they will be fascinated with how it works.
Food is Fun!
Ultimately this is what you are trying to do. If you can make your kids develop a love for healthy food then they will be more likely to pursue this by themselves, without having to be effectively forced into eating it against their will.
Just by adding small little things like this you can make food far more fun, so that come mealtime they’re more than willing to start eating. The simplest of things are the ones that work, so even simply saying you can only have dessert after you’ve eaten all of your meal will work with quite a few young children.
Overall it is up to you how you do it, and if you can find a way that works for your children in particular then go for it – everyone is different, and certain things will only work with some children. After all – you know your kids the best, so you can figure out what will make them eat healthy for the foreseeable future, and hopefully the rest of their life.
About the Author:
Melissa Cameron is a dedicated mother and home cook, who always keeps her Waring MG800 nearby when cooking. She has successfully got her children interested in healthy eating, and hopes to help others to do the same.