If your child is a picky eater, feeding time can be a very frustrating experience. And with all of the junk food marketed towards little kids, it’s no wonder if your little one is craving sweets instead of veggies. Let’s explore a few ways to combat this and make your child want to eat healthy.
Create a schedule and follow it. If you set a certain time range for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be served each day, you will begin to see the benefits. You child will have a balanced diet, and most likely they’ll be less hungry. If you’re out on a road trip, keep a cooler in your car to stop from buying fast food.
Don’t force your kid to eat. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually proven to help. Kids like feeling like they’re independent and will usually resist when forced to do something. Let your child pick from an assortment of healthy food. For example, you might ask, “Would you like steamed broccoli or homemade soup?”
Be creative. Kid’s imaginations run rampant—Use this to your advantage. Make them want to eat by making it into a fun experience. Arrange food into cool shapes or use cookie cutters; match food with the shape they most resemble, like broccoli florets and little trees.
Cook together. Let your child be part of the process. It’d be fun and they’ll be interested in what they helped create. You could also take them to the farmer’s market to learn about where food comes from, or you could start your own garden. Experiment with edible flowers to excite their palate! You can always check with an online florist if you are unsure.
Be a good role model. Kids copy actions. If they see you choosing to eat fruit as a snack, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.
Incorporating healthy eating at a young age makes it easier to maintain throughout later years. You’ll find that eventually your child will want to eat healthy because they’ll notice they feel better afterwards than they do after eating junk food. It takes time and patience, but getting your child to make healthy choices will pay in the long run. And keep in mind that it takes children a couple of tries to want to try new food.
-Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is an award winning healthy, special diet and green living and travel expert, holistic nutritionist, plant based vegan chef, and best-selling cookbook author. Follow her online at healthyvoyager.com