6 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Healthy Foods
It’s easy to get kids excited about things like chips and candy bars, but slide a plate of fruits or veggies in front of them and suddenly they lose interest. For many parents, getting their children to eat more healthy food can be a downright battle. In previous posts, we’ve shared some advice on how to sneak more nutritious ingredients into your child’s diet, but today we want to share some ideas for not just getting them to eat better, but actually getting them excited about doing so.
If you’re tired of sneaking around and trying to be a magician in the kitchen, here are six things you can try that will hopefully get your kids on board with healthy food once and for all.
Get them involved. Take them shopping with you and give them a list of their own to check off. Or, better yet, let them in on the planning and cooking process – from picking the recipe to selecting the ingredients to prepping, cooking, plating and serving. When children are able to take part in all of the things leading up to a healthy meal, they’ll take pride in the outcome and enjoy it that much more.
Make it a learning experience. Kids love to learn new things, and there are plenty of interesting and fun facts about fruits and vegetables, so do some research and start teaching. Share something new about each food you’re serving or make it into a trivia game to get them involved. The more you make nutritious food fun, the more your kids will enjoy it.
Have some fun. Instead of just piling veggies on your kid’s plate at dinner time, why not make it more of a fun and playful experience – and one in which they feel as though they’re somewhat in control. Sit the family down and have everyone participate in a blindfolded taste test, offering a variety of different tastes and textures. Not knowing what each item is means no automatic rejection, and your child might actually be surprised at how good certain foods actually taste.
Go slow. You don’t have to cut out the candy and snacks cold turkey. In fact, if you want your kids to actually be on board with eating healthier, you shouldn’t rush into things. Start small – incorporating one healthy item at a time and slowly replacing the bad choices with better ones. When changes occur gradually, they’re easier to adjust to and also more likely to last.
Don’t give up. Just because your child turned his or her nose up the last time you served broccoli doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. In fact, studies have shown that it can take up to 20 exposures to a certain food before a child finally develops a liking for it. So get creative and be persistent. You may lose a couple battles along the way, but over time you’ll win the war.
Model it. Children tend to mirror their parents’ habits and behaviors, so if you’re not eating as healthy as you should be, it’s hard to expect your kids to. If you want to get your children to make better food choices, don’t just tell them so. Do the same yourself. As time goes by, eating better will naturally become something the whole family enjoys.
Looking for some fun, tasty and delightfully healthy recipe ideas? Check out our list of simple, delicious options for a great way to get more veggies in your family’s diet. Enjoy!