For a lot of people, a new year means a fresh start on healthy eating habits. But sometimes our kiddos don’t agree with our new resolutions … and really who can blame them? While I think cauliflower fritters are delicious, it just doesn’t beat the traditional donut fritter.
So what’s a parent to do? Here are 5 tips to help get your kids eating healthy with you!
Introduce new foods one at a time – While it may be tempting to go full force into a new healthy diet, it can be overwhelming for a child. A better route might be to introduce new foods one at a time, once or twice a week.
Don’t force them to ‘like’ the new foods – Personally, I think it’s good to have your child at least try a new food. We usually sing the phrase ‘Try one bite – You might like it! Try one bite – and tell me what you think!’ if our girls seems a little unsure about trying something new. And it works for us. But just because a child tries something doesn’t mean they like it. And that’s okay. In our house if the girls don’t like a food after they try it, we avoid it as much as possible for them. Our oldest doesn’t like mushrooms, so I will make a point not to include mushrooms in her meal if they are required in a recipe. In my experience, forcing a child to keep eating a new food they don’t like makes it harder to get them to try new foods in the future.
Be open about why the food is changing – Your kids might adapt better to the change if they understand why it’s happening. So explain to your kids that you are cooking healthier foods to help make their bodies strong and their brains smart. Let them know that their are healthy foods that are really good for them, and unhealthy foods that are okay to have sometimes. Play a game with them – name a food and ask them if it’s healthy or unhealthy – to help them understand what healthy food choices are.
Get excited! – Most children learn more from our actions then they do the words we say. Model the behavior you want your kids to have. If you get really excited about trying the new recipe, they will also get excited too. Get excited about the ingredients that they are familiar with and already like (‘ Wow! There are oranges in this smoothie. We love oranges! This is going to taste so good!).
Let them help you prepare the foods – Get your kids in the kitchen with you to help prepare foods. They will be more likely to try a new food if they helped prepare it.
Got a tip to help your kids eat healthier? Share it below!