How to Get your Kids to Eat Healthy Food is a something that every parent asks? Knowing full well that “Healthy Eating is Happy Eating” for Everyone concerned and that Healthy Food is Real Food. No body wants their child to suffer unnecessary illness or disease. A major concern with children today, is the increase in childhood diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and mental health related issues that has come down to the fact that our children are a subject to being malnourished from eating substandard food that has been over processed, loaded with harmful chemicals, additives, high in salt and sugar.
Getting your Children to Eat Healthy
Begins with getting them involved in Food preparation This helps to Overcome “Fussy Eating”
By becoming Mindful about the Food You Eat!
What and How you feed your Children will give YOU and YOUR Family the very Foundation for Optimal Health and Vitality!!!!
Who thought that when this precious young one was born they were happy and content to live on Mum’s milk for the first six months or so?
Then as you began to introduce them to food how fussy they seem to become or did they?
Their Taste Buds are Developing!
The truth is that their taste buds are developing and this takes a lifetime of implementing different foods at different stages. If you think back to when you were a kid and the foods you didn’t like but as you became older some of these foods you began to like and include them into your daily eating regime.
As Adults you have choices and knowledge as to how certain foods can benefit your health or how some will be destructive to your health. It is then your choice as to whether you change and include these foods into your life.
However your children are in your care and if you want Strong, Healthy Children. It is vitally important for you to include a wide range of Fresh Healthy Food into your Children’s Daily Diet.
Now you may well not be a top chef or even a good cook, however somehow you need to feed your family and implement healthy eating into their lives.
Steps to getting your Children Eating Healthier
- Do not put too much food on their plate: If you have a baby and you are introducing them to solid food start them with one thing at a time for example mashed sweet potato: you may then after a few days add some mashed pumpkin. I always found it was easier to do my own foods. I would cook our dinner and then in the blender put in what I wanted for my baby. The same goes for older babies and toddlers. It is important to remember something that they didn’t like yesterday may not necessarily be true for today.
- Make it interesting: including a wide variety of foods for your child from an early age allows for their taste buds to develop making it easier to make better food choices later on. So what do I mean by making it interesting with vegetables especially pumpkin and sweet potato they are usually tastier when baked drizzled with some garlic infused olive oil. The quantity of garlic in these oils is minimal and generally will not upset your toddler. As for babies, maybe even up to 12 months old you may well wish not to add extra flavour. We all like variety with our foods and I know for me I like them to taste good, I use a variety of herbs and spices along with onion and garlic. You may well wish to exclude these or limit the amounts until your young becomes used of the different flavours. Citrus fruits, apples, pears are all great additives to either chicken or fish dishes for extra flavour that are delicate and subtle for your young one.
- Never force your child to eat anything: You may well make a suggestion to try it then leave the decision to the child. You will find if you eliminate on a daily basis, junk food, lollies, chips etc. You will have less trouble with your young one eating healthy foods.
- Vary the Texture: Texture for children plays an important role in their appreciation of flavour. An example is do you prefer a nice crisp, fresh apple or a soft stale one. The taste you can’t compare can you, the fresh apple just tastes so much better.
- Change how you present foods: Some children prefer their vegetables raw, that is great so with say carrots you may well begin with shredding them as you can also do with say capsicum, zucchini, and cucumber. So also vary the way in which you present your foods. With cooked vegetables as mentioned you can bake, steam or with potatoes and pumpkin you can also mash.
- Don’t disguise; I know you might say – “Oh no that is the only way I can get them to eat that particular vegetable. If you do this then they will never come to enjoy that particular vegetable therefore as adults will still not include that in the daily eating regime. What I did I just kept putting the array of vegetables on their plate with little fuss and you know what over time (and you can’t say how long because everyone is different) they slowly began eating those vegetables.
- Add Flavour: for most of us we hate bland food I know I do and as your young one gets older so will they. This is where you can begin to include very mild curries, stir fries are great, and you can include your onion, capsicum and garlic along with some mild herbs such as parsley, basil, rosemary and so on. Try to stay away from salt as you don’t want them to become used of this as part of the flavour. These flavours can be used in making any of your favourite dish to scrambled eggs.
- Allow them to help: yes starting with a simple activity just guiding their little hand with stirring the pot. Helping you get the ingredients out of the fridge or pantry and of course as they become older and they develop skills they can then help with chopping and putting the ingredients into the pan, wok etc.
- Lead by example: Wow this is so vitally important from eating to how we encompass and live our lives. These little people watch our every move, they are our mirror. We are under the microscope with them. So if you don’t have great nutritional habits this is a great way to start improving the way you eat. Then you will also be healthier to enjoy this lovely person who has been brought into your life.
- Tiny steps: Remembering this is a lifetime achievement, delivered on a daily basis. You will find it easier if you keep fast food, at a minimum and not having junk food in the house. So that when there is the odd occasion that these foods are eaten they will not take over child’s eating habits, but will be firmly understood that these are occasional foods and there will be some that will be NEVER to be EATEN foods and that is OK.
- Focus on the health facts that they will grow into beautiful children, teenagers and adults being able to do the things they love: DON’T FOCUS on weight or body image.