How to Get kids to Eat Healthy Food and Make Meal Times Less Stressful!
Last week I shared the 3 most common nutrition mistakes that parents make but I didn’t really include solutions. I don’t think it’s fair to point out a problem but not offer solutions.
This week I want to share my best strategies for raising kids that love to eat healthy food and make meal times less stressful.
I don’t think there is just one thing that we can do to get our kids to eat and enjoy healthy food. There are many things we can try but it really depends on the personality of the child.
Here are my top 4 strategies for getting kids to try and enjoy healthy food so meal times are less stressful.
1. Kids love to snack. If you are used to buying “kid-friendly” processed snack food, here are some healthier alternatives.
- Instead of whole grain crackers try cut up veggies with hummus.
- Instead of chocolate chip cookies try apple slices with seed or nut butter.
- Instead of granola bars try trail mix (walnuts, pumpkin seeds and raisins).
- Instead of fruit chews try grapes or seasonal berries.
- Instead of sweetened yogurt try fruit salad with plain yogurt with a touch of maple syrup.
2. Involve your kids in the kitchen when making meals and preparing snacks.
As I mentioned in the previous article, kids want to spend time with you. You are teaching them a life skill when you show them how to nourish their body. You know that healthy food can be delicious and now your kids will too.
Try making these easy recipes with your kids. It might get messy but think of the fun memories you will be creating.
3. Create fun and healthy traditions around food and meal times.
Try a smoothie experiment and guess what the final color will be. Smoothie combinations are endless and a great way to get vegetables into your kids. Throw in leafy greens, cucumbers and other vegetables with some fruit. High powered blenders are amazing!
Come up with creative names for new dishes that you try. If you don’t have any ideas, I’m sure your kids do. A silly name can liven up the dinner table when meal time gets too serious. Is there a story about the dish or ingredient that you can share with your kids? It doesn’t have to be 100% true it just has to peak their interest.
4. Involve your kids in meal planning.
Get each family member to share their favourite meals and try and to work them into your rotation. Sit down and write out a big list of meals that you already know how to make.
If you struggle with meal planning you’ll want to sign-up for the FREE 5 Day Meal Planning Challenge that starts on March 9th. Get all the support and encouragement you need!
With some effort, planning, creativity and patience you can get your get your kids to eat more healthy food and take the stress out of meal times.