As your kids grow, they must eat healthily and develop healthy lifestyle habits they’ll carry throughout childhood. According to health experts, a balanced meal for kids should include grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy. Getting your little ones to eat the right foods can be challenging, especially when they’re picky eaters. However, you can find creative ways to help them develop healthier eating habits and get the nutrients they need. If you’re wondering how to get your kids to eat healthily, here are some tips worth considering.
- Let them explore various dips and sauces
Dips and sauces can turn meals that your children may have found bland into an exciting dish. Aside from making their meals more fun because they get to explore dips with their fingers, it also makes it easier to eat their meals and soften any hard or dry foods. Additionally, dips and sauces enable you to introduce new tastes to your kids and give new flavors to veggies and other foods you may have initially found challenging to convince your kids to try. You can explore different sauces and dips, including this teriyaki sauce recipe, to find the ones your kids enjoy most.
- Try dinner for breakfast
If you have some healthy meals leftover from last night, you can try giving them to your kids for breakfast too. Doing this is a great way to encourage healthy eating, especially if they enjoyed the previous night’s meal. You can get creative with healthy but fun ideas such as a fruit pizza, veggie kebabs, etc. You only need to warm the food appropriately and if you consider doing kebabs, remember to use child-friendly options such as popsicle sticks instead of pointy ones, so they don’t get hurt.
- Allow them to play with their food
As messy as this may sometimes be, allowing your kids to play with their food will help them satisfy their curiosity and try any new healthy meals you introduce to them. You can start by finding exciting names for these meals so they can easily remember them and be encouraged to taste them. Another great way to attract your kids to these healthy meals is by arranging the food according to colors, cutting them into interesting shapes, etc. To help you manage any mess they make, you can provide several napkins and encourage them to sit at one place, such as the dining table, while playing with their food. Allowing your kids to have fun during their meal times will also help you build unforgettable childhood memories with them.
- Involve them in cooking and meal prep
A great way to get your kids to understand why they need to eat healthily and get them interested in healthy meals is to involve them in your meal prep. If it’s a basic meal, you can allow them to help you cook. They can pitch in by helping you mix things in a bowl, helping you set the table, etc. Depending on your kids’ ages, you can find simple meals they can make themselves with a little supervision, such as sandwiches and wraps. You can encourage a little independence by laying out healthy ingredients so they can choose the one they want for their meal. You can also allow them to serve themselves when the meal is ready, so they take the quantity they can eat and avoid wasting it. While getting your kids involved in preparing healthy family meals, it’s essential to ensure all the safety measures are put in place to prevent any injuries.
- Try little portions
Spreading your kids’ meals throughout the day will make it easier for them to eat healthily and may prove more effective than trying to get them to eat large portions of healthy meals at a go. Aside from helping you prevent food wastage, it also gives your kids more options to try if they didn’t enjoy the previous healthy meal. You can provide various healthy snacks and foods in small portions that they can take throughout the day. It’s best not to force your kids to eat when they don’t feel hungry to make this more effective. You only need to be consistent with the meal times and choose from various options.
These practical and creative tips will help you get your kids to eat more healthily. However, don’t be too hard on yourself in trying to do so, as it takes time and consistency. You only need to keep things simple and have fun with your kids while encouraging them to eat healthily.