It is important to instill healthy eating habits as early as possible with your kids to ensure they carry those habits throughout life. My dad did most of the cooking growing up (he’s an awesome cook) and even though we ate a lot of meat and dairy, he made most dishes from scratch and used fresh produce from the farmer’s market.
With my own children, I try to give them as many healthy, tasty choices as possible.
Allow children to pick out fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store/farmer's market-My kids like the produce section because I think they realize it’s one of the few places where mama won’t say no. lol We often discuss what’s ripe, what's in season, and how to prepare different meals using vegetables.
Put them to work-Kids are more open to new recipes/ingredients when they take part in the preparation. Since I love to experiment in the kitchen and spend a lot of time there, it’s natural that my boys want to help. I let them measure out ingredients (great for math), read the recipes and serve. It is also a great opportunity for quality conversations about school, friends, etc.
No one likes it? Make it again- Most of us don’t like change, so sometimes we gripe not because it’s a bad idea but because we want things to stay the same. I recently started buying sprouted bread to avoid preservatives in traditional bread and no one seemed to like it. I found that when I toasted the bread the complaints died down and the boys are now enjoying it with almond butter. I don't follow this idea with everything I serve, but I do if I feel the health benefits outweigh the gripes. :-)
Set the example-Kids model our behavior for better or worse. An example of this happened just this morning in my house. I have a bad habit of eating my pancakes with lots of butter but I never put it on the boys’ pancakes. Simon made his plate and instantly headed to the refrigerator for butter. I told him he didn’t need it and thought about how he got the idea in the first place. ME
What are your tips for getting your child (ren) to eat healthy? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.