How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Food at Home?
Some kids can be picky with their food choices. They can easily gravitate to the more starchy comforting foods like pasta, pizza, bread, rice, and so on. If your child is one of those, don’t worry! Ours was too.
I believe that every kid can thrive, living a balanced and healthy life, if provided the right nutrition. This means to have balanced meals (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), little to no processed sugar (candies, juices, sodas, cake, chocolates, cookies, etc) and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Here are the 5 key things my wife and I have been doing to get our 3-year-old used to healthier food choices.
Be the example
Your kids, especially after 3 years old, want to copy everything that you do! Make sure that your plates look like the ones you want to see your kids eating or even better.
Naturally, your kids will ask what is on your plate and get interested. Kids are curious. Always ask if they want to try a bite, but only once. If they say no, don’t make it a big deal, keep on eating as anything has happened.
Kids need repetition. They need to see the same behavior repeatedly. At some point, they will say yes and try something new.
If after trying something new they don’t like it. Don’t worry! Congratulate them for trying and carry on.
With this exercise, you want to expand your kid's pallet to new tastes and experiences. It might take some time, but it will surprise you to see the interest they develop for the healthy foods you are eating.
Mask the taste of Healthy Foods
In our daughter's case, eating vegetables has been the hardest one. So, I have come up with ways to mask the taste in green smoothies (read How to get your kids to drink their greens?) or in other dishes, like spinach crepes, broccoli oven tarts or mashed cauliflower (she thinks it's mashed potato).
When serving protein use mild tastes and spices
When preparing meat, chicken or fish don’t go crazy with spices. The more neutral the flavor, the higher the chance your kid will like it. You can use cheese, cream or butter to give some extra taste and mask a bit the flavor (especially with fish) if your child is not a big protein eater.
Also, don’t be afraid to use a good quality protein powder in your smoothies. This will add a few grams of protein in your kid's daily intake and will keep them happier and more balanced. These are my favorite options for quality whey protein powder and for a vegan protein powder that kids like.
Get your kids involved in the kitchen
My 3-year-old daughter is my little helper in the kitchen. Every single day she wants to come and help me out in the kitchen.
From the beginning I got her involved in the cooking process, making it fun and making her feel useful and helpful. So, now it is a fun thing to do with her dad and she doesn’t want to miss it.
This way your kids will learn about new foods, they will know what goes into their plate. They will ask you to taste some ingredients while you are cooking. Plus, it is an amazing way to bond with your kids.
Just relaxed! The kitchen might be a mess, and food will take longer to be ready. But the reward for you and your kid is priceless. Trust me!
Give them time
Getting used to healthier eating choices can take time. If not, think about how hard it is for so many people to stick to a healthy diet. However, with perseverance and dedication, you can accomplish anything. And making your kids eat healthy foods is no different.
Let them discover their own way! Ask for what they are interested in. And mostly set the right example. With time, your kids will copy you.
Offering your kids Healthier Food choices and helping them in getting used to them is one of the biggest and best gifts you can give your kids in their life.
A Healthy Diet is in the foundation of our Health and Well-being. And most times, it’s what defines our energy levels, mood, productivity and quality of life. So, don’t take it lightly, be consistent and over time you’ll see the fruit of your effort.
If you need help in changing into a Healthier Lifestyle with yourself and family, contact me. You can book a 15-minute call to have a chat and see how can I help you.
Until next time, be the example you want to see!