When it comes to children and food, it can often feel like a battle. You want them to eat healthy food for their growth and development, but they often want to eat unhealthy food instead. It can be incredibly challenging during their picky eating phase. But don’t worry — you can get your kids to eat healthy food with a bit of effort.
If your kids are in preschool or just starting elementary, this would be the best time to implement healthy eating habits. They are still young and are more likely to listen and learn from you. Here are 12 tips for moms on how to get kids to eat healthily:
1. Lead by example
If you want your kids to eat healthy food, you need to eat healthy food yourself. Kids are always watching and copying what their parents do, so make sure you’re setting a good example for them. If they see that you’re eating healthy food, they’re more likely to want to do the same.
2. Don’t force them to eat
It’s important not to force your kids to eat because that will only make them more resistant to eating healthy food. Try giving them a variety of healthy food and let them choose what they want to eat. If they’re not hungry, then don’t make them eat.
3. Make healthy food available
If you want your kids to eat healthy food, you need to make that food available. Don’t keep unhealthy food in the house, and make sure that the healthy food is readily accessible. Put fruits and vegetables on the counter, have a bowl of nuts or seeds available, and keep a stash of fresh fruit in the fridge.
4. Serve a small portion
When serving your kids healthy food, make sure to serve small portions. That way, they won’t feel overwhelmed, and they’ll be more likely to try new things. If they’re not used to eating many fruits and vegetables, start with small doses and gradually increase the amount as they get older.
5. Pack them healthy lunches and snacks
It’s essential to pack healthy lunches and snacks for your kids, especially when you’re on the go. That way, they’ll have something to eat that’s nutritious and satisfying. Try packing fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, lean proteins, and healthy dips. But make sure that they’re not packing too many sugary snacks because that will only undo your good work.
6. Let them choose their own food
When you’re at a restaurant or out for a picnic, let your kids choose their own food. That way, they’ll be more likely to eat something they actually want to eat. If they’re given a choice, they’re more likely to try something new. But you could always make a few suggestions if they’re stuck.
7. Get them involved in the cooking process
Kids love to help out in the kitchen, so get them involved in the cooking process. Let them help you prepare meals, chop vegetables, or stir the pot. They’ll have a lot of fun, and they’ll be more likely to try the food they helped make.
8. Be patient and consistent
It’s essential to be patient and consistent when getting your kids to eat healthy food. It may take a while for them to get used to it, but if you keep at it, they’ll eventually get the hang of it. Be patient and give them time to adjust. You should also be consistent with your message, so they know what you expect from them.
9. Don’t bribe or punish kids with food
One of the worst things you can do is a bribe or punish your kids with food. That will only teach them to see food as a reward or a punishment, and they’ll never learn to eat healthy food for the right reasons.
10. Make mealtime fun
Kids love fun and excitement, so why not make mealtimes fun? Play music, tell jokes, and make sure that everyone is having a good time. That way, your kids will look forward to mealtimes, and they’ll be more likely to eat healthy food.
11. Rotate their food choices
It’s a good idea to rotate your kids’ food choices to avoid getting bored. If they eat the same thing all the time, they’ll eventually lose interest. Try mixing things up by serving different fruits and vegetables, switching up the proteins, and adding some new whole grain dishes to the mix.
12. Get help from your pediatrician if needed
If you’re having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy food, then it’s a good idea to get help from your pediatrician. They can help you figure out what’s going on, and they may have some helpful tips to get your kids back on track. Getting your kids to eat healthy food can be a challenge, but you can make it happen with the help of a professional.
Kids need healthy food for healthy growth and development, so you must prioritize them in your home. Try some of these tips and see how your kids’ eating habits improve! Who knows? You may just become a pro at getting your kids to eat healthy food!