You don’t need to give your kids the impression that healthy eating is composed of eating their peas. It might be hard to just suddenly go healthy, so take these suggestions one step at a time. Eating healthy is a process, not an event.
It’s no surprise that you should limit unhealthy snacks. Don’t stock your cupboard with potato chips, snack crackers, and cookies. Instead, substitute these for healthier options. Purchase corn chips without hydrogenated oils, and keep some salsa around for dipping. Replace snack crackers with the whole wheat variety that have seeds. The texture is fun for kids and they can top it with some cheese, fruit, naturally made peanut butter, and natural jams. It’s alright to bake cookies once in a while, but don’t buy the packaged variety. If you keep this as a general rule your kids will be healthier for not having the packaged kind constantly on hand, and will appreciate your baking a lot more. Your kids will inevitably get junk food at parties, school, and friends houses, so they won’t be deprived of sugar.
Desserts should be limited to once or twice a month. You can bake something homemade or just make something simple like a pudding. This is the same concept as baking cookies. Homemade desserts are much better than store bought, and because you won’t want to do them on a frequent basis, this will cut down on how many desserts your kids have monthly. Anyway you decide to do it, you shouldn’t encourage your children to have dessert on a daily basis. This habit can cause them to have weight related problems later on in life.
Grow a garden
If you are in a place where you can have a garden, even a small one, you will find that this greatly encourages children to appreciate the healthier foods. Allow your kids the opportunity to help you tend to the garden from planting to finished food. Most kids will want to sample the things they take part in growing or making. And because garden grown is so much better than store bought, you will find that you will enjoy your favorites more this way too.
It isn’t likely that your kids will like all vegetables. But the ones that they do seem to enjoy without coercion are the ones that you should be sure to keep around. As much as you want to believe you love every vegetable to give your kids a good example, you need to fess up to the reality that not all vegetables are tasty. But don’t give up on vegetables you don’t seem to like at first; you should try at least three different recipes with the given vegetable before deciding whether it is on the ‘ban’ list. Be sure to keep portable veggies on hand for your kids to take with them. Celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, red pepper slices, and baby carrots are ideal for this.
The fact is that kids love it when you peel things for them (no matter how old!). if you slice up strawberries and kiwi, kids will be more likely to eat it than if they just see the un-prepared and unwashed product sitting out. Peeling oranges and dividing the slices, cubing or balling melon, and washing grapes, will give your kids a kick start to eating these delectable fruits on a daily basis. Keep peeled and washed fruit in plastic containers in the fridge and in plastic snack bags so your kids have easy access to them. If you make it easier to grab some peeled and shaped fruit than grabbing chips from a high cupboard, you will have them choosing fruit nearly every time.