Can eating healthy be fun for your little ones? You know you want them to eat what’s good for them, but convincing them to choose carrot sticks over potato chips can be a struggle. Bribing and whatever other efforts you use to control their eating habits won’t lead to long-lasting healthy habits. So what should parents do to make it fun for their kids to eat right?
Here are 5 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Fun for Your Kids
1. Be Their Role Model
First, you can’t expect your kids to eat healthy unless you set the example.
When your children see that you eat healthily, they’ll be more likely to enjoy healthy meals together as a family. Parents are the leading influence on their children’s eating habits. So, make sure you’re contributing to set the foundation for future meals.
2. Serve Smaller Portions
Kids tend to get overwhelmed by the amount of food they see in front of them, especially when trying something new. As a result, they might pick at only what they do like and leave the rest on their plate. To get them to appreciate their meals, try serving smaller portions that they can easily finish.
Don’t be worried that you’re not feeding them enough, though. There are creative ways to feed them good amounts without overwhelming them. Your children are growing, so eating more frequently is entirely appropriate for younger kids. For example, you can serve an appetizer plate with mini utensils. Fill the small dish with an assortment of sliced fruit and veggie sticks. You can also encourage them to help themselves.
The appetizer plate can make them feel like they’re at a restaurant, making the experience a bit more fun and special. Even teenagers might think it’s a treat when you serve them a tiny plate of finger foods before the main course.
3. Offer a Variety of Foods
Expose your kids to various foods, textures, and flavors. That way, your kids get a chance to try new foods regularly. For example, if they haven’t tried seafood yet, go for it!
Research shows that seafood can boost your little one’s immune system, so try out different foods to help them get excited about what they’re eating. Also, consider keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked with various foods. That way, your kids can easily access fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products when they’re hungry.