Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Guest Post: 6 Secrets to Get Your Children to Eat Better by Jessica Socheski

It is no secret that most children are picky eaters. Trying to persuade them to eat all of those healthy choices in the fridge is generally like fighting against a brick wall because not only are children particular about what they eat, they can prove extremely stubborn.

But successfully convincing kids to eat their fruits and vegetables does not have to be the challenging war it sometimes feels like. By following these tips, you can have every child on the block eating healthily and enjoying it.

1. Support
Just because parents tell their children to eat their fruits and veggies does not mean children will always listen. But kids may be more prone to follow the advice of other adults such as their doctors. At your next appointment, ask your primary care doctor or concierge physician to explain the importance of nutrition in relation to the body. Most doctors use visual aids that provide concrete meaning to their words. This might help convince your children to eat more nutritious meals. And at the very least, you will have proven that the authorities are on your side next time you insist that the broccoli be digested.

2. Role Models
While children might not want to listen to their parents, they are quick to notice when their parents are not following the same rules either. Kids are perceptive, and they need positive reinforcement from the adult examples at home.

As a role model, parents need to outfit their kitchens with healthy food instead of prepackaged chips, soda, and sugar. Encouraging children to eat the right foods instead of junk will not be as effective when that unhealthy stuff is still lurking in the pantry.

3. Plan Sneaky Recipes
Find a selection of recipes that include healthy items mixed inside. Instead of asking a child to eat a pile of steamed carrots, find recipes where plentiful amounts of veggies are already integrated into the final product. Kids are more likely to eat something like chicken pot pie (which contains both protein and veggies) than just plain green beans sitting on the side.

Once there you have compiled health approved recipes, sit down with your children and have them pick out the meals for the week. Not only will they be more excited for dinner, they will also have no excuse for not liking the food that they chose.

4. In the Kitchen Together
A great way to win over picky eaters is to involve children in the cooking process. If kids are interested, allow them to take part in the mealtime by giving them different jobs to perform. Again, because they played a role in the meal, they will be excited to eat what their hands helped prepare. Plus, cooking together creates quality family time in the kitchen and then around the dinner table.

5. Don’t Become a Short Order Cook
Resist the habit of cooking different meals for different people. Even if your children refuse to eat what is in front of them, do not reward their pickiness by making them a new meal. This will start to become a pattern, and children will always attempt to weasel a different meal. When kids are hungry, they will hopefully eat whatever sits in front of them.

6. Mealtime Moderation
Instead of removing all sweets and junk from the pantry, designate a certain day or time when children can have a treat. Make the weekend special by designating Fridays and Saturdays as ice cream night. This teaches children to eat in moderation while not depriving them from sweets either.

For children to make healthy choices as they grow, they need to be taught how to eat well when they are younger. 

Image Source: www.marsh.net

1 comment:

  1. You can add ground up fruits and veggies to cupcakes and muffins. Another way is to add the ground up veggies to meatloaf, hamburgers, or chili. A lot of times they go unnoticed.