Kids vs. Healthy Food: It’s a war that has been waging since, well, the beginning of time. Tantrums have been thrown, bribes have been initiated and many a dessert has been compromised. Will there ever be a cease fire? We’re not sure, but we do have some ideas that can arm parents with arsenal that may help the next time their child wrinkles his nose at the site of peas. No bribing needed!
GET EVERYONE INVOLVED: Kids love to be part of the action. The next time you’re at the grocery store or local Farmers Market put them in charge of picking out the fresh produce. They’ll be more likely to want to try a food they chose. You can also take it a step further by letting them be part of the prepping process. Have your kids wash the produce, peel carrots (supervised, of course), and tear lettuce. This is a great way to speed up prep time while spending quality time together as a family. Bonus!
HAVE FUN: Meals are such a huge part of our everyday life, why not make them fun? This is a time to let your creativity shine! Make funny faces out of fruit on your morning pancakes, or cut toast and sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters. And the tiny trend doesn’t stop at houses. Little hands love little things so why not make food miniature? Mini meatballs using lean meats (can even sneak some veggies into the mix), mini grilled cheese sandwiches topped with tomato and avocado, and mini skewers loaded with grilled veggies are just a few of the recipes that have been a hit with our own families.
SET THE EXAMPLE: We can’t expect our kids to be excited about making healthy choices if we don’t even do it, right? Kids are much more likely to follow our lead, not our words so make sure they see you enjoying your side of veggies at dinner or a piece of fresh fruit as a snack. Something that has helped the parents here at STRIVE with Janelle with this in particular is to not even have the unhealthy foods available. If things like chips, cookies and soda aren’t around they can’t be consumed. We’ve been stocking up on veggies like carrot sticks and snap peas in lieu of chips (dipping them in hummus is great too!), and serving fresh fruit like sliced strawberries or frozen grapes as a dessert. The best part is, the kids are getting the nutrients they need and we don’t even realize what we’re “missing”.
These are just three ways we have found helpful in the ongoing battle of the taste buds. But we know there are plenty more! We’d love to hear any secret weapons you have for helping your child eat healthy. Please share in the comments.