3 Actionable Ideas for Growing Healthy Eaters
My parenting philosophy in general is to model the behavior I’d like to see in my kids. For example, not yelling at them to get them to stop yelling at each other My approach to feeding children falls along these lines as well. I hope they will see my husband and me eating a wide variety of flavorful foods and (eventually) be interested in that too.
Pinterest has tons of ideas for meal ideas that appeal to kids. There are tons of resources for finding and preparing healthy food options to serve our families. I frequently turn to Pinterest to get a few new recipes or just inspiration and motivation to keep cooking for my kids when times get tough!
We have two girls, ages 2 and 5 years old, and at this phase they certainly don’t see us eating escargot and want it as well! But as they watch us eating and enjoying a variety of meals, I really believe that with time, and as they age, they will be more interested and see this type of diet as a “normal” way of life. As we all know, there are infinite great ways to raise kids and no real answers or sure-fire ways to get your kids to eat a variety of good food. In our home, I prepare balanced meals and some days the kids eat it all together, sometimes separated out on their plate, and some days they opt out of the meal all together. But if they choose not to eat what I have made, there are no other options. No rewards for turning up their noses at good food.
I grew up in a home where we were required to take a “no thank you” bite to at least give foods a try, or depending on the situation, forced to stay at the table until our plates were clean. There are benefits to both these approaches. But for me, it’s simply not worth the fight and I would rather keep low drama and emotion surrounding food. My strategy is to not let food be a big deal, while modeling the type of eating I hope to see in my kids.
Today, I’m offering 3 actionable ideas to grow healthy eaters:
1. The first and best tip I have is to get them involved in preparing the food. The more they participate in the meal planning, shopping, and preparation, the more eager they will be to eat the food as well. By contributing from the beginning, kids feel ownership over the experience and want to try the end result!
2. Teach kids what different healthy foods do for their bodies! Children understand quite a lot and even at a young age can understand that carrots are good for your eyes and celery helps your bones! Research good foods together and learn how they help your body survive and thrive!
3. Make mornings count! It is so easy to give the kids a bowl of sugary cereal and call it breakfast, but what a missed opportunity! Let’s use the morning to offer our kids fuel that will help them learn and grow throughout the day. There are lots of high fiber and high protein breakfast foods you can offer your kids in the morning while they are hungry, before the snacking begins!
Please let me know in the comments what you do to encourage healthy eating in your home and family!
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