Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t one of those lucky moms that received kids that would try any kind of food you put in front of them. As a matter of fact, once my boys switched from baby food to table food, they started turning their noses up to lots of healthy foods. Thankfully, once my older son hit the teen years he started eating healthier. But most of us moms don’t want to wait that long for our kids to start eating healthy.
So here are some tips from Patty Minta, RD, author of “Mom, What’s for Dinner?”:
- She has a rule in her house that kids have to Bite-Chew-Swallow 2 bites of everything on their plate. (in my home, it was 3 bites)
- If her kids say “I don’t like it” then she says “well, maybe you don’t have big kid taste buds yet!” They of course WANT big kid taste buds – who wouldn’t? So the next time she serves that item she says “maybe you’ll have big-kid taste buds this time”. Ingenious!
- Get your kids input in making the grocery list – ask what they want and if they say “pizza” then do your best to make a healthy homemade pizza or if they want chicken nuggets – make your own healthy version.
- Get their help shopping – give your kids a list of some fruits and vegetables. Make it a game by saying “let’s pick out a new vegetable for daddy to try”. Then make sure daddy eats it!
- Let them help prepare fruits and vegetables – Patty says younger kids can use a pumpkin knife with a jagged edge to help cut.
- Involve the kids in meal-time prep by setting the table and picking a centerpiece (it can be a John Deere tractor but at least they are involved and invested).
- Plan ahead – think about your day and pack healthy snacks or lunches for the kids so you are not tempted by fast food or junk food. In her book, Patty has a chart for helping to plan out a whole week of meals and snacks and then a place to jot down notes on preparation so you plan your time accordingly.