Being a parent poses all kinds of challenges. For instance, although you know that your children need to eat as many healthy foods as possible so that they can get the vitamins and nutrients that they need in order to develop into strong boys and girls, you also are aware that if your kids could choose between an apple and a cookie, they would probably pick the cookie every single time.
That’s why we wanted to provide you with a few practical and helpful ways that you can get your kids to eat healthy nutritious food. If you make a point to put these things into practice, it might just surprise you how much your children will enjoy eating what’s good for them (eventually).
Have less junk food in the house. If your children know that there are chips in the pantry, gallons of ice cream in the freezer and soda in the fridge, then that’s what they’re going to try and eat. So, one way to prevent this from happening is to remove a lot of the junk food that you have laying around. Replace the chips with granola bars, the ice cream with sorbet and the soda with mineral water (with a bit of juice added into it).
Take them shopping with you. One of the best ways to educate your children about the kinds of foods that are good for them is by having them go grocery shopping with you. Explain to them the benefits of shopping in the produce and organic sections and teach them how to read the back of labels as well. Soon, they’ll be telling you what is high in carbs or what has artificial coloring and flavoring.
Cook at home more. Do you know why a lot of kids want to eat combo meals from fast food restaurants? It’s because that’s what they’re used to getting on a fairly consistent basis. But, if you make a point to cook at home more often, they will get used to eating homemade meals instead.
Don’t totally rule out certain kinds of foods. Although the goal is to have your children eventually desire things that raw vegetables and fresh fruit more often, that doesn’t mean that “junk food” has to be totally ruled out. If they want to have some on occasion, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Just try and make it be at certain times, such as after their dinner or during lunchtime on the weekends rather than simply whenever they get the urge.
Offer alternatives. Almost every kind of food has an alternative. For instance, rather than fast food French fries, cut up some potato wedges and bake them in the oven. Instead of candy, consider dipping some strawberries into some dark chocolate. If they want an ice cream shake, make them a fresh fruit smoothie with yogurt, almond milk and ice instead. One great thing about kids is that they are pretty adaptable; when it comes to an alternative, they’ll try it and if it’s something close to what they like, in time, there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll enjoy the substitute just as much. And as an added bonus, it will be much better for their health and well-being too.