Whether you’re the mom of a baby who hasn’t started solids or a toddler who is already picky, now is a great time to start raising a healthy eater. Try out these tips to make sure your child grows up to eat a variety of healthy foods.
1. Model good eating habits. If your child sees you eating cookies, don’t expect him/her to ask for celery sticks. Children are much more likely to eat something if they see you eating it. So, set a good example by snacking on healthy foods like bell pepper strips and hummus.
2. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Even if you think your child won’t eat fruits and vegetables, there are many ways to get him/her eating more. Kids love to dip, so try using dips and sauces with the fruits and vegetables. Also, try mixing fruits or vegetables into favorite dishes like chicken dishes, tomato sauce, frittatas…
3. Make healthy eating convenient. It’s often easy to eat junk food because it’s convenient, but there’s no reason that healthy foods can’t be convenient as well. Have fruits and vegetables washed and cut-up in the fridge. Stock up on drinkable yogurt, boxes of raisins, packages of apple slices, freeze-dried fruit and healthy snacks like Green Grown Meals muffins.
4. Teach kids that healthy eating is fun! Get your kids involved in the kitchen. Allow them to help with different tasks depending on their age. Or try healthy cooking activities like creating your own yogurt parfait for breakfast.
5. Don’t give up! It can take children 15 – 20 times to try and like a new food. The first few times your child may not even touch the food. Sometimes he/she may taste it and spit it out. It doesn’t mean your child doesn’t like the food. Your child is becoming familiar with the taste, color, smell and texture of this new food. If you give up after one or two times, your child will end up with a very limited diet. This is not only unhealthy for your child, but will also make your life very difficult! So, be persistent. It will pay off.