21 Feb Healthy eating for children.
Healthy Eating for children
Hey Mum, Encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet early on is important for a number of reasons. Ensuring they get the right vitamins and minerals in their diet will help them grow and develop optimally. They are also more likely to be energized and motivated, supporting their ability to learn.
Here are some tips to encourage your Kids to eat healthy
Get them involved
If you involve kids in planning meals, going grocery shopping, and preparing food, they will become invested in the process and more likely to eat. Even toddlers too young to make grocery lists can help you make choices (pears or nectarines? cheddar or swiss?) along the way. Simple, no-cook recipes like frozen yogurt popsicles or fruit parfaits are an excellent way to get young chefs interested in healthy cooking and eating.
Make healthy snacks available
If you stock the kitchen exclusively with healthy treats, children will eat them. As your kids grow, stock good snacks in cabinets and shelves that they can reach without your help.
Some kids eat more when they’re in the car than when they’re at the table simply because active play isn’t a viable alternative when you’re strapped in. Make sure you’re prepared with nutritious snacks whether you’re driving the carpool or going to soccer practice. Good choices include sliced apples, carrot sticks, whole grain crackers, light popcorn, raisins and water bottles.
Give them freedom of choice
Like the rest of us, kids want to have it their way. But no parent wants to be a short order cook, making four different meals for four different family members. Instead try the fixings bar approach. Offer a suitable base meal, like rice and beans, whole wheat tortillas or lean ground taco meat. Then let kids (and adults) dress it up with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cheese, parsley, peppers and other toppings. You might also try a pasta bar with a variety of healthy sauces.
Kids like choices at snack time too, so consider packing an insulated lunch bag full of good snacks so they can make their own smart choices.
Drink to that
Remember that your child doesn’t have to just eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day he can also drink them. Smoothies and mixed fruit drinks like watermelon slush and mango lassi can be a fun way to introduce new fruits.
Don’t give up. Studies show that most children need multiple exposures (between 5 and 10) to try new foods. This isn’t to say that showing your child the same papaya or avocado five nights in a row will win her over, but rather to suggest that you shouldn’t give up the first time she rejects something.
Use meal and snack times as teachable moments to help even the youngest children make wise food choices.
Dinner rolls in the image, made by @chefzoeyblaq