Children are notoriously fussy eaters, particularly when it comes to healthy food. No matter how attractively you arrange the vegetables on their plate, they will still turn their noses up at it in favour of a unhealthier option. As a parent, you may be tempted to give in to their whims for the sake of a quiet life, but you will only feel guilty afterwards. So how can you keep your kids happy, while ensuring they get a healthy diet at the same time? We have some great ideas for you right here.
Allow them to grow their own food
Give your kids a sense of pride and let them grow their own food. If they have been given a chance to plant and nurture something themselves, the more likely they are to eat it. If you don’t have a garden, you could still grow something like tomatoes and carrots in a pot on your windowsill. Should you have a garden, give them a patch to call their own, or have a look at this greenhouse sale if you have a larger piece of land, and let your kids have a say on what foods can be grown inside.
Introduce new foods slowly
Don’t bombard your children with a plateful of vegetables. Instead, mix their plates up with something they enjoy eating, even if it’s not the healthiest of foods, with something a little more nutritious. Tell them that it will take their taste buds a while to get used to the new tastes if they are unsure at first, and don’t give up on the healthy option when making future meals, even if they refuse the first time.
Experiment with dips
If your children refuse to eat a particular vegetable, encourage them to eat it with a dip which may be more palatable to their taste. You may not want to dip your carrots into a bowl of ketchup, but your kids might. Of course, there are healthier dips such as humous and salad dressing, but if ketchup does the trick, take comfort that they are at least eating their vegetables.
Provide healthy snacks
There are loads of unhealthy snacks on the market, but your kids can’t eat them if you only have healthier items on offer at home. Get rid of the chocolate biscuits and bags of crisps, and replace them with fruit, nuts, and protein bars. This way, when your child gets hungry during the day, they won’t have the option to go for something less nutritious. They may complain at first, but hopefully, they will begin to enjoy the healthier options.
Finally, a little creativity with your children’s food can go a long way into getting them to eat what’s on their plate, be that at home or in their lunchbox at school. Turn vegetables into fun shapes with cookie cutters, and blend fruit into a delicious smoothie. You might even learn from Mary Poppins, and add a little sugar to your children’s vegetables. You may balk at the idea, but children often prefer sweet tastes over sour and bitter.