Healthy Eating for Kids: Some Tips That Really Work
By Genevieve Cunningham
For some parents, getting their kids to eat healthy feels like an impossibility. Kids are notoriously picky eaters. They want their trusty old favorites -- chicken nuggets, french fries, hot dogs, etc. -- and getting them to branch out into new territory can feel overwhelming. Of course, encouraging your kids to eat healthy is incredibly important, both for their lives right now and their lives in the future. So what can we do? If you want to get your kids moving in a healthier new direction, take a look at these tips to try starting today.
Make It Colorful
Kids like things that are colorful. It makes whatever they're doing look more fun, and the same can definitely be said for food. Try to make your child's plate colorful -- not with food coloring, but with a variety of food. At breakfast, serve them scrambled eggs (yellow) with sliced tomatoes (red) and a few blueberries (blue). One of the easiest ways to add color is to add fruits and vegetables to every meal, which ends up making the meal healthier anyway. Start with adding color and your kids may have an easier time consuming healthy foods.
Make a Slow Transition
Kids don't always take change well. Instead of forcing an entirely new menu on them all at once, make a slow transition to healthier foods. Pick one healthy food and introduce it to them for a week. Don't push them or bribe them. Just offer. Over time, continue to replace various foods with healthy options. Even though your children may not take to the new foods right away, they'll slowly transition to the new choices, and before you know it, you'll have an entirely new kid-friendly menu of healthy food.
Don't Be Too Strict
Don't forget that kids are kids. Sometimes they're going to want a cookie or a cupcake. They're going to want a sugar-filled cake for their birthday. They're going to want some juice from time to time. Don't be so strict that your kids can't enjoy life. Allow for some treats and some "cheat days," and your kids are much more likely to stay on the healthy path as they age.
Getting kids to eat healthy can definitely be a challenge. In fact, getting kids to do anything can be a challenge! But it's not a task of impossibility. Use these tips to help persuade your child to eat a little healthier, and your whole family will be headed toward better health before you know it.
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