Trying to get your children to eat healthy is usually very stressful, even for the most patient mother. Ask me, I know. Even if you spend hours trying to make them look pretty and edible by hiding all the green stuff, they keep coming up with their little noses in disgust. In fact, trying to get my child to eat anything that isn’t white is a very trying experience.
Although we would like to hope that orange juice and Nic Naks make a good healthy meal, unfortunately this is not the case. It is very important that children grow up to be well nourished as they grow up. Their diet can also make a huge difference in how they feel and how well they learn.
Here are some tips that may or may not help you in your efforts to get your children to eat healthy.
Tip #1 :
Serve them small portions because they have small tummies. If you serve them a whole plate of meat, rice and vegetables, they’ll probably give up before they’ve even started. Try cutting nutritious foods into small bites, such as cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, a few peas and a few small triangles of bread or toast. That way, they’ll have a good chance of eating at least half of it.
Become an artist, because kids eat something because it looks good. Never underestimate the power of a cookie cutter when it comes to making sandwiches. Even something as simple as making a smiley face out of the food on the plate helps.
Tip #3 :
If they hate the taste of something, like broccoli, don’t worry about forcing them to eat it. You’ll end up with gray hair and unnecessary stress. There are countless alternatives to any food, and there’s bound to be one that your child will like.
Tip #4 :
Don’t worry if they want tomato sauce with everything. At least it’s a good form of lycopene and, as long as it’s a good brand that’s low in salt and sugar, it’s fine if it helps them eat that piece of meat. If they have a sweet tooth, try making a milkshake with bananas and fruit and a little ice cream. Kids also like popsicles, so make them with mashed fruit.
Tip #5 :
Never force your child to finish everything on their plate. You’re only encouraging them to overeat by ignoring the vital “I’m full” signals coming from their brain.
Tell your children that the principle is that they should taste a food at least once before saying they don’t like it. Sometimes they surprise themselves.
Take them shopping with you and let them choose a dinner. They will feel more in control if they are involved in the decision-making process.
Let them experiment in the kitchen. Most children will eat anything they have prepared themselves. Encourage the use of healthy ingredients and, of course, supervision. There are tons of kid-friendly recipes on Google.
Tip #9 :
In some cases, you can lie through your teeth. For example, if they ask you if the soup has onions in it, you can say no if it means they’re going to eat it.
Tip #10 :
Never offer more than two or three choices or you’ll get into trouble. If they don’t finish their meal, just put it away for later, then if they complain they’re hungry in an hour, you can take it back to them. If they are really hungry, they will eat it. Don’t replace it with a chocolate cookie afterwards.