Healthy Eating With Kids can be a challenge, especially when you have picky eaters on hand. Here are 6 easy tips for getting your kids eating better.
Healthy eating with kids can be challenging, especially when you have picky eaters in your family. Trust me, I know all about it. I also know that it can be really hard to keep our families eating as healthy as possible, especially with all of the hustle and bustle of our school year calendars. To make sure we’re not ordering take out all week long, I try to plan out our family dinners a week in advance. This way, I can have everything on hand before I start making dinner to make sure that we have a stress-free, enjoyable atmosphere during our meal.
In our family, we also try to make sure that everyone eats the same meal at the same time, but with our picky eaters, that can be a challenge. After working all day, shuttling the kids to after school practices, and finishing up homework, making 3 different dinners is the last thing I want to do. So in order to make sure that each family member has a nutritious dinner, I like to build options into each meal plan.
For example, if I decide that Wednesdays are going to be “Burger Night,” I make sure that I have several different burger options. Not everyone likes traditional beef burgers, so I also have veggie and chicken burgers on hand too. Then I pick a “fun” side that I know everyone can agree on, like fries or mac-and-cheese, and two servings of vegetables, like corn-on-the-cob, sweet green peas, or broccoli.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but if you plan your meals out ahead of time, I find that it often makes mealtime prep go much faster. As a busy mom, I know how challenging it can be to get everyone back on track, so I’ve written down six easy tips to make healthy eating with kids a little easier on you all.
6 TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING WITH KIDS
1.) Parents first!
When introducing a new food, our kids see my husband and I eating it first. For example, if we want our kids to try brussels sprouts, I serve them to us a week or two before I try to serve it to them. This way they can see us enjoying it while they try their “safe” vegetable like corn, carrots, or peas – and when I offer it to them next time, they feel more comfortable trying it.
2.) Offer variety!
When making dinner, let your kids have options. Instead of just ground beef burgers, try making smaller versions of something else. Turkey, chicken, veggie and even fish all make awesome burgers. When kids feel in control, they will be much more comfortable trying new food.
3.) Let them dip!
Kids love dipping sauces. But go beyond ketchup and try serving homemade yogurt dip, ranch dressing, mild salsa, or even a white bean dip. If you provide them with a platter of veggies, fruit, and cheese they can easily explore new flavors.
4.) Vote on it!
I have found that if I encourage my children to have a say in what we eat, they are much more willing to accept change. As a mom, I know it can be hard for them to give up an unhealthy treat, but by supporting them in their decisions and helping them pick a healthier option, we all win.
5.) Start small!
Any change is a good change. You may be tempted to purge your pantry of all unhealthy snacks, but in order for healthy choices to stick, you should start small. By offering better, healthier options for your family, you will start to see what kinds of healthy snacks they are happy eating. If you have a child that loves guacamole and chips, try adding in carrots or another crunchy vegetable that you know they like. Even cutting down the amount of the less healthy option is a step in the right direction.
6.) Reward them!
Getting healthy should be fun. We like to have a rewards chart in our homes. Anytime one of our kids tries a new food, they can earn a star on their rewards chart. They love seeing their stars add up and once their chart is full, they get to choose a fun family activity that we can all do together.
Do you have any healthy eating with kids tips for us? We hope our tips help you and your family get back on track!
Thanks for reading,