Getting kids to eat healthy starts with the first spoonful of food or sippy cup of drink. But if you are having problems later down the road, there is still hope to get back on track. There are so many reasons that kids can give as to why they don’t want to, should not and quite possibly will die if they even take a single bite of this “healthy” food. Spanning from not tasting good – even though they have never tried it – to the fact they think they may be allergic to the food in question, kids are masters at dodging the proverbial ball of good food.
There are, however, a few ways to get your kids to try new foods. After all, they have an arsenal of reasons why not to eat it, why not keep your own stockpile of weaponry to get them to eat the food they don’t want to.
Be a Role Model
Children’s minds are like a piece of bread, soaking up all of the oil surrounding it. Being a role model and continually trying new foods in front of and with your child shapes their ideas about trying new things. It is important to let your kids see that it is okay, and even fun, to try new things from time to time. Demonstrating the adventure and intrigue of trying new foods will stick in your child’s memory for the rest of their life.
Don’t be afraid to laugh over weird new foods that none of you like. It’s going to happen and just proves that yes, you do understand that everyone is not going to like every food. But that we should try it every once in a while to see if our tastes change.
Meal Plan Together
Kids are more apt to eat something they made, or at least planned to make. Letting your kids help cook the meals increases the chance they will try and like foods you are preparing.
Children are stimulated and become completely engrossed when they have the opportunity to get into a hands-on position. By allowing them to help plan the meals and to prepare and cook the food, children see exactly what goes in to the pot and there are fewer surprises for them to come up with the excuse they don’t like what is in it.
For members of the once a week cooking club this becomes easy. Just have them start cutting vegetables on your cooking day. Then when you have the master list on the fridge of the meals they helped create, ask them which meal they want to eat the next day. Now they helped make it AND they chose when you are eating it. That allure of power is heady to them. They’ll be excited to tell everyone at the table what part of the meal they helped with and possibly even tell the whole recipe to the family.
Keep Healthy Options
Nothing is worse than watching your kid look for a snack, finding nothing healthy and heading right for the ice cream with chocolate sauce and whip cream. Children learn from, and rely heavily on the ability to make their own decisions, whether it is on what clothes they want to wear to the types of foods they want to eat. It is important to offer a wide variety of choices to your kids. Just remember to respect their likes and dislikes and change the different options up frequently so they don’t get bored.
Apples and celery sticks become a whole new ballgame when you add dipping in peanut or almond butter to the mix.
Getting your children to eat healthy is as simple as letting them get involved. Interacting with all of their senses, suddenly trying new foods becomes fun.
Allowing children to help out in preparing the meal builds a sense of pride and accomplishment. If all else fails, throw some new fruits and veggies in the blender with a little honey and they will never know the delicious smoothie they are drinking is actually good for them. Hiding the foods they don’t like, inside of foods they love, is a great fail-safe weapon to keep locked and loaded.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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