October 27, 2015

eat healthy tips for kids

Note: this post has been updated January 2022.

You Can Help Your Kids with these Eat Healthy Tips 

You love your kids. You want the best for them. One of the most basic and important things you do for your children is to feed them healthy meals and snacks. The food they eat is the only thing their bodies must build upon, to keep them fueled and to use to think and grow.

When you think of it that way it's an obvious choice to give them the healthiest diet possible. So, if you have a fussy eater how can you help your kids with these healthy tips? You can get your kids to eat more vegetables.

Eat Healthy Tips

How can I get my picky child to enjoy a wider variety of foods?

Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage, exerting control over their environment and expressing concern about trusting the unfamiliar. Many picky eaters also prefer a “separate compartmented plate,” where one type of food doesn’t touch another. Just as it takes numerous repetitions for advertising to convince an adult consumer to buy, it takes most children 8-10 presentations of a new food before they will openly accept it.

Rather than simply insist your child eat a new food, try the following:

Offer a new food only when your child is hungry and rested.

Present only one new food at a time.

Make it fun: present the food as a game, a play-filled experience. Or cut the food into unusual shapes.

Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.

Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.

Have your child help to prepare foods. Often they will be more willing to try something when they helped to make it.

Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.

Limit snacks to two per day. – via www.helpguide.org

Two good ways to help your kids eat healthier

When all the other kids are living on fast food and packaged foods how can you help your kids make better choices? It can be done. It's about building an environment that teaches them, not lectures them, about the world that is good nutrition and all the good reasons to explore that world instead of limiting themselves to jello and chicken nuggets.

Let’s look at two very practical and effective ways to move your children toward a healthier and more varied diet without having a power struggle in the process to get your kids to eat healthier!

Eat Healthy Tips

Don’t be a short-order cook

Ever find yourself making one meal for the adults in the house and another for the kids — or even one for each kid? Children take their time warming up to new things and if you keep giving them the old standbys they’re not going to branch out and explore new foods. Be patient.

Most research says that it takes an average of ten to twelve attempts before a child will try a new food unless they are involved in cooking and gardening projects like Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard or after school summer programs. Learning about food and cooking in an active way helps breed a sense of culinary adventure.

Make the same dinner for everyone in the family while making sure to put some foods on the plate that your children like — then add something new. If they don’t touch it, don’t worry about it, and don’t make an argument out of it.

Try again next week and again the following week. Eventually they’ll surprise you by at least tasting that new food.

Don’t buy into marketing for kids.

Kids don’t need frozen chicken nuggets, French fries, macaroni and cheese, and pizza to keep them happy. Highly processed foods like these are loaded with chemicals, synthetic fats, additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings. And even a three-year-old can grasp why sodas aren’t good for you and why we don’t eat foods with lots of fat every day at every meal.

You can’t keep heavily processed foods out of their diets forever, but the longer you limit exposure while instilling healthy eating habits, the more likely your children will be to make better choices when left to their own devices. – via life.gaiam.com

Summary and time to act

Science confirms that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods can help you live to the fullest. In fact, a growing number of physicians advocate a completely plant-based diet for many of their patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It is never too early to get our kids to think about their health and the environment.  It is important to use some of these healthy tips. 

An enjoyable book to help you provide healthy tips and can serve as a starting point is When I Eat Plants: Encourages healthy nutrition for kids.

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Express your opinion

What ideas do you must get kids to eat healthier? If I can answer any questions or if you have an opinion that you would like to express, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I would love to read your comments!

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