Good nutrition is fundamental for raising happy, healthy, and positive children. Not only do children thrive and gain energy from the food that they eat, but healthy eating habits support everything from bone growth to improved focus and concentration. However, it’s not always easy to create, implement, and consistently follow a healthy kids’ diet… especially if you have picky eaters.
Here are some suggestions for making small changes, in both the present and long-term:
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day,’ and this is true when it comes to nourishing our kids. Breakfast—even if it is only a banana and a glass of milk—is vital to ensure that the body begins the day with plenty of energy.
Plus, if you can help your kids to create the habit of eating breakfast every day, this will likely stay in the long-term.
2. Provide Healthy Snacks
The desire to reach for a bag of chips or a cookies can be overwhelming, especially if that’s what’s readily available for your children to grab! These highly processed, ‘on the go’ snacks are often unhealthy, high in calories, and lacking in nutrition.
So, what’s the alternative? Get rid of junk food and replace it with nutritious snacks, for example: yogurt, organic popcorn, nuts, celery with raisins, or a creamy homemade strawberry milkshake.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is essential for life! Water aids in detoxification and hydration. Drinking adequate water throughout the day will help digestion, avoid constipation, and improve blood circulation. Water also helps to regulate body temperature and transport nutrients and oxygen to cells.
4. Join Them When Eating
If you want to create a healthy kids’ diet at home, then be sure to be present (aka: sitting with them, rather than eating separately or in front of the TV)! Your children will learn healthy habits when they’re modeled, and this can also strengthen your bond.
Children are also more likely to eat when they see their parents eating. And, while you’re eating together, you can also educate your children on table manners and social etiquette, too!
5. Make The Kitchen Fun
Those who think you can’t have fun in the kitchen are wrong. Making healthy food with your kids is a great approach to get them to consume it. Children are more willing to try new foods if they can prepare them. They will also love the food they helped cook.
So, engage them in the process whenever you can! Assign children easy, safe projects that are enjoyable so they don’t grow bored. You can also increase in difficulty as your child becomes more comfortable and confident.
6. Get Creative
Children are moved by what they see and experience. Thus, presentation is important in enticing them to eat! Use color to liven up plates (think colored fruits and vegetables, for example). Also, slowly introduce new foods to your children without fear.
And remember, most kids need to try a food anywhere between 7–10 times before they’ll start liking it. If your kid is still pretty resistant, don’t worry! This will take time, exposure, and routines.
For other eating tips or tips for healthy kids’ diets, head to our food gallery page!