Kids prefer what tastes and looks good for them. This is why it is difficult to make healthy food choices appealing to kids. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your child’s diet is nutritious and wholesome, while still allowing for some of their favorite treats.
Be a role model
Kids’ impulse to copy other people especially grownups is so strong. Start your child on the right dietary path by being a role model. When your child asks for a bite of what you’re eating, your plate is filled with healthy food selections.
Regular family meals
Having a set time for meals is comforting. Knowing that dinner is served at the same time every night is heartening and also enhances appetite. Having a set time for each family meal also provides a perfect opportunity for kids to share what’s on their minds.
Get kids involved
Kids enjoy helping grownups out when grocery shopping, choosing what goes into their lunch box, and preparing meals. Grocery shopping provides a good opportunity for you to teach them about nutrition, and which foods contain the most nutrients, and how to read food labels.
Make a variety of healthy foods available
Stock up on fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, and healthy beverages at home. Make them easily accessible to your kids so they’ll get used to reaching for healthy snack when they get hungry.
Let them choose
Do not make mealtimes a battleground, or a time for shouting matches, by insisting your child to clean his or her plate. It’ll make your child look forward to mealtimes less and less. Also never use food as a bribe or reward.
How to make your child enjoy a wider variety of foods
A hard-to-feed child is going through a normal developmental stage. Your child may be at that stage where he or she is trying to control their environment, and where they are concerned about trusting something new. Helpguide.com suggests trying the following:
- Offer a new food only when your child is hungry and rested.
- Present only one new food at a time.
- Make it fun: a game, a play-filled experience. Cut the food into unusual shapes.
- Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.
- Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.
- Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
- Limit snacks to two per day.