Do your little ones prefer French fries over broccoli? And chicken fingers over grilled chicken? If so, you’re not alone!
But don’t despair. Fostering healthy eating habits is possible! Below you'll find our top tips to get you started:
Exposure, exposure, exposure!
Many kids are naturally wary of new things, including new foods. Thus, the more you expose your kids to the healthy foods you would like them to eat, the less “new” these foods become. And without even taking a bite, there are many opportunities for exposure.
Seeing, touching, and smelling foods can bring your kids one step closer to tasting and accepting. Consider the following ideas:
- Take your kids to the grocery store or farmers’ market. Have them find the foods on your shopping list. Ask them to pick a new food they’d like to try.
- Invite your kids into the kitchen. Have them help prep your meals and snacks.
- Plant a vegetable garden. Kids love to eat the food they grow.
- Serve healthy foods as often as possible. Remember, even seeing and smelling these foods helps.
Give Your Kids a Choice
We all know kids seek control. So give your kids a choice when it comes to their food whenever possible. It’s a great way to eliminate power struggles at snack and mealtimes.
But, here's the catch! Avoid open-ended choices. And offer healthy options. For example, ask if they want broccoli or spinach with dinner. Or carrots or celery packed in their lunch.
Don’t Focus on Nutrition
It’s true we want our kids to eat healthy because it’s good for them. But honestly, young kids aren’t too concerned. They mostly want food that tastes good.
While fun facts (in bite sizes) can be helpful, focus mostly on how delicious the food tastes instead.
Practice What You Preach
Getting your kids to eat healthy means you better be eating well yourself. And while you’re eating, don’t forget to mention how yummy the food is.
Spice Things Up
Most adults don’t like their food plain. So we shouldn’t expect our little ones to enjoy bland food either. Here are some tasty suggestions to try:
- Serve foods with yummy dips, such as guacamole and hummus.
- Sauté or roast veggies with healthy fats, such as butter and olive oil. Fats add flavor, but they also help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
- Add a sprinkle of sea salt. So simple, but it can make a big difference.
- Add their favorite seasonings or serve foods with their favorite sauce. For example, sprinkle cinnamon on sweet potatoes. Or top grilled chicken with pesto.
- And don’t forget about cheese. Kids love cheese!
Let Us Help
At Pure Plates, all of our meals and snacks are healthy. They contain a variety of clean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and nutrient-rich vegetables.
Thus, you can't go wrong! You can always feel good about letting your kids choose the meals and snacks they prefer for school, camp, and family dinners.
And, you'll be setting a good example when you dine with our meals.
Plus, our meals are anything but bland. We use delicious sauces and seasonings to make them irresistible. You'd be surprised at the foods and flavors your little ones can learn to love when given the chance!
Whatever You Do, Don't Give Up
Helping your kids eat healthy isn’t always easy. It may even drive you crazy. But it is possible (and important).
Stay calm. Be consistent. And keep trying. Exposure often leads to a bite. And one bite will eventually lead to another.