As parents, we do absolutely everything that we can to make our children happy. We keep them warm with the right bedding, comfortable with the right clothes and shoes and happy with full bellies every day. One of the hardest things about parenting is ensuring that your children stay as healthy as possible. Children need energy to run, to jump and to play and a healthy child with a high energy level is one that is fuelled for school and ready to take on anything for the day.
The problem? Most of the time healthy food seems to mean a resounding ‘yuck’ in their young minds. If you’ve ever been subjected to ‘Inside Out’, the Disney film, you’ll be familiar with the emotion of Disgust, which prevents children eating broccoli. We know – as adults – that broccoli is amazing. There’s nothing more delicious than a balanced plate of food with seasoned broccoli, but children just don’t see it that way. Making healthy food fun isn’t always simple, but with the tips below you can open their mind and kick Disgust to the kerb.
Give It Time.
It takes a while for the healthy food to taste nice. You may remember being a child and turning your nose up at broccoli and cauliflower, right? Well, now’s the time for you to be patient. Always offer the healthy fruit and veggies with their main meals, but don’t push. The more you push, the more they will resist. Be patient and let it happen in time.
Make Food Pictures.
When vegetables are presented in a messy pile, children turn their noses up. Change the scene to a beach or a forest scene out of vegetables, and suddenly it’s not yucky veggies anymore. It’s an adventure.
If you put your vegetables in dishes and allow the children to help themselves to whatever they like the look of, you’re more likely to get a good response from them at meal times. They get a little control over what goes on their plates, and this element of control can be everything to your kids.
Get Them Cooking.
Ask the kids to help you to choose their favorite Trader Joes dinner recipes and let them help you to cook. Invest in a tiny apron and let them take control of slicing and cooking under your supervision. When the kids get a chance to have fun with the food itself, they are more likely to want to eat their creations.
The magic words that you can say to your child are, ‘you don’t have to eat it’. This means that they get the choice and instantly relax. They may choose not to, but you’ve then given them the option to make a meal more relaxed.
Healthy eating isn’t always going to be possible for kids, but there are plenty of ways to hide vegetables in their food anyway. Be patient. The day will come they’ll choose carrots; it isn’t all that far away.
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