It is challenging to get kids to eat healthy, especially if you brought them up on a not-so-healthy diet. Thankfully, there are easy (and sneaky) ways to get kids to eat healthier, so not all hope is lost! These 5 easy ways to get kids to eat fruit and vegetables will get them back on track to a happier, healthier lifestyle.
1. Lead by Example
In order to get your children to eat healthier, it is best to adopt healthy eating habits yourself and encourage your children to eat good foods. This is sort of like monkey-see monkey-do, whatever your child watches you do, they will often lead. By providing your children with a health food environment, they are more likely to adopt balanced eating habits. Do not yell at your children if they refuse to eat fruit and vegetables, rather, encourage them. Positive environments often lead to positive results.
2. Green Smoothies
A sneaky way to get greens into your children is to put greens into their smoothies! Pack spinach, romaine lettuce, kale (preferably juiced first, and then put in as a kale juice into the smoothie), or any other type of leafy greens go very well in smoothies when combined with sweet fruit like bananas and dates! If you want to conceal the colour, add in some berries – although green smoothies do look quite interesting. If your child questions the colour, tell them something silly about how the smoothie came about (like a witch created a potion that will turn them into a powerful superhero – have fun!)
3. Get Creative!
Creating a plate of vegetables in the shape of a face or some other arrangement is a great way to get kids to increase their consumption of fruits & vegetables. For example, you could make melon shapes by cutting melons horizontally and then using cookie cutters to make stars or hearts. If you wanted to make a tree, you could use broccoli for the leaves and carrots as the tree trunks. The possibilities are endless. Children are extremely visual individuals, and when they see something that looks more fun to eat, they are more likely to eat it!
4. Get Involved
Other ways to get kids interested in having a balanced diet is to take them to the grocery store or garden. Asking the kids to select new foods to taste will help get them involved in the process of becoming more aware of what they are putting in their bodies. Children like having a sense of responsibility – when they pick up fruits and vegetables that you asked them to pick out, they are more often than not going to eat it when you bring it home. Take your kids to the grocery store and ask them to pick out a fruit and vegetable from every colour of the rainbow! This gets them excited, and gives them a task that they will have fun completing.
5. Food Education
Educating your children about proper eating habits is incredibly important. Raising kids that will grow up eating only junk food and fast food will put them on the road to disease and illness. Sitting down with your children and explaining to them that their health is the direct result of what they consume (more or less) may not always be an easy task, but there are ways to get it through to them. Putting up charts around the house with healthy food tips, making a collage of healthy foods on paper or learning to choose products with short ingredient lists – the list goes on!