Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier
By Sara Butler
It’s a classic parenting struggle: How do you get your kids to eat healthier without driving everyone in the family to the edge of madness? Well, there is an answer, but it may not be easy to hear. You have to diligent. A new study from the journal Appetite found that if you expose your children to different foods repeatedly, then there’s a greater chance they’ll learn to like the foods they refuse to eat now later in life. Remember, you’ve got them beat just by years of sheer stubborn experience, so make the most of it and use these tips to help them eat healthier.
Make Time to Play
According to researchers at the journal Preventative Medicine, kids will eat more if they exercise right before a meal. In fact, letting your kids get some energy out before meals can increase vegetable and fruit consumption by over 50 percent. How about those apples?
You may not be Picasso, but you should certainly try to channel him when you’re putting together your child’s food plate. Kids love bright colors and if you give them a plate with more colors on it, then they’re likely to try more and have a more diverse diet.
Don’t Tell Them it’s Good for Them
Sometimes you have to play their games, and when it comes to kids there are a lot of silly games that need to be played. If you want to master the art of encouraging a healthy diet in your child, then never utter the words “good for you.” It’s a turn-off because they equate it with a food tasting bad. Instead, talk about how good it tastes and leave the health benefits for another time.
Let Them Stop When They Want
It may go against your nature to let the kids have their way, especially if you disagree with them, but letting them dictate when they’ve had enough is really important. When you nag your child about eating more, it tends to make them eat less, and can backfire in a big way by making a picky child even pickier. Plus, helping them to recognize their own satiety signals is a great lesson for later in life and will help them to stop eating when they’re satisfied, instead of compulsively finishing everything on their plate.
Being a parent is, in part, about finesse. You simply need to learn how to work them to get what you want out of them, and when that desire is a healthy diet the stakes are high.