How to Get Kids to Love a Healthy Diet?
Parents often struggle with finding ways to get kids to love a healthy diet. The problem is that so many foods that are specifically produced and marketed to children are the definition of unhealthy. They’re highly processed foods, with very little nutrients and often full of sugar. They can be really tasty and addictive, so children might enjoy eating them a lot more than they should.
Getting kids to love a healthy diet might be difficult for parents, especially since they need to break this vicious circle.
Consuming such highly processed foods on a regular basis means that childrens’ diet could be lacking in essential nutrients that are crucial for their growth and development. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines a healthy diet for children should include a variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups everyday:
- lots of vegetables of different colors and type, beans
- grain foods (cereals, mostly wholegrain) - bread, pasta, rice, oats,quinoa, noodles, etc
- lean meats, fish, poultry or alternatives, eggs, tofu, nuts & seeds
- milk, cheese, yoghurt or alternatives
If you’re looking for fun and interesting ideas to get your kids to love a healthy diet, we have some tips for you.
1. Funny colorful plates
You have probably seen tons of such adorable plates on Pinterest. Food art for kids it’s a big trend and many parents have learned to be creative with their children’s meals, both when it comes to pairing different foods and to the visual presentation.
From silly animal-shaped sandwiches to fruit trains and creative lunch boxes, there are so many creative ways to make healthy food interesting and appealing to kids. If you haven’t tried it already, it’s time to put those cookie cutters and toothpicks to work and start creating your own funny colorful plates with your kid!
The fun is guaranteed and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to add healthy colorful veggies that your kid might otherwise be picky about.
2. Interesting food pairings
If your child is a picky eater and has particular habits and preferences that you find are hard to change, you could try to pair a food they’re picky about with one they enjoy eating.
For example, if they don’t particularly like carrots or green leafy vegetables you can add them to fruit smoothies. Fruit smoothies are colorful, sweet and nutritious! This way you could sneak in those precious veggies that you kid is not very fond of. For inspiration, check out our tasty smoothie recipes! You can even prepare smoothies in the park or while you and your kid are travelling thanks to the Blendaco portable blender. Be sure to offer different options for your kid to choose from. It’s important to let your child have some control and independence when it comes to their food choices.
This way they will be more cooperative and more open to add healthy foods to their diet, if they know they have power to decide.
3. Cute little chefs
Kids love to play and cooking can be a very playful, fun activity for the whole family. There are some cooking tasks that even small children can do, like mixing different ingredients in a bowl.
Try to encourage your kid to participate in some of the cooking activities. You can choose meals and snacks that are easy and quick to prepare and which include some healthy ingredients like paninis, tacos, pizza, pasta, salads, sugar-free cookies or fruit parfaits. You can let your kid decide which healthy ingredients to include and present them with various options.
Letting kids do some of the cooking might help change your kid’s attitude towards what healthy cooking means and could make them more eager to try new foods.
This way it will be easier for you to introduce them to more healthy foods in the future. Some might enjoy cooking from an early age and might even become actual chefs when they grow up :).
4. Joyful moments and healthy choices
Ice-cream in the park during summer or enjoying a piece of cake or pie during the weekend are seen by kids as joyful, rewarding moments. You can allow your child to savour such desserts from time to time. It’s important to have a good balance and to encourage your child to make healthy food choices that will help them with their growth and development.
Praise your child every time they decide to eat something healthy and nutritious and encourage them to try out novel foods. Educate them on why healthy food is important for them.
Children develop a lot of their attitudes toward food in their first years of life and they are very influenced by their parents, so you should be a good model for them when it comes to healthy food choices.