Today we have a guest post from Brian Jenkins at BrainTrack.com. He offers some good tips for getting kids to eat more fruit and veggies.
It’s difficult to get kids to eat healthy. With all the tasty junk food options out there, eating “gross” vegetables can seem like punishment! What can parents do? Let’s take a look at some useful tips to get your kids to eat healthy food:
• The staff at the prestigious Mayo Clinic offers the following advice: “Be patient with new foods… Your child may need repeated exposure to a new food before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food’s color, shape, aroma, and texture – not whether it tastes good.”
• Help kids become knowledgeable about new food items. Explain to them how it was grown, how the food was prepared, and what it does for their body. Explain how it helps them stay healthy.
• Offer healthy after school snacks. Provide individual cups of unsweetened apple sauce, sliced pieces of fresh fruit, or whole grain crackers.
• Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D, head of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, said, “Involving children in cooking is an important step in getting kids interested in fruits and vegetables and getting them more excited about eating them.” Let the kids tear the lettuce for salads and let them break apart the broccoli crowns. Kids will be inspired to eat healthy food if they help prepare it.
• Get your children involved in gardening. If they can see cucumbers, green beans, strawberries, and baby peas growing, and are able then pick them and bring them into the kitchen, they’ll be more interested in eating them.
• Many kids enjoy raw vegetables when served with a tasty dip such as low-fat ranch dressing or mild salsa.
• Add vegetables to a dish kids enjoy; spaghetti is a good example. Also, some kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they are components of a soup or hearty stew.
• Be persistent and keep offering kids healthy food items. It may take numerous offerings before they are willing to try something new.
• The staff at the Mayo Clinic suggests parents should let their kids help choose fruits and vegetables and other healthy food items at the grocery store. Let them grab these items off the shelves and put them in the cart. They’re likely to eat the foods they’ve selected.
Brian Jenkins writes about many topics, including career and college info for nutritionists, as a member of the BrainTrack.com writing staff.