Creating healthy food choices for your kids can be fun and easy with just a little extra effort. As a parent, it is your job to provide nutritious food while creating a good eating lifestyle. It is also essential that while you are encouraging these good behaviors, you do your best not to nag in the process.
Since obesity is an increasing problem in the United States, it is best to begin good habits right away. Below are some creative ideas on how to introduce healthy food choices to your kids.
Be a Good Role Model
Children will naturally mimic what they see, so remember, it is important to have good healthy habits yourself. The saying "practice what you preach" really does apply here. However, if you have not been a very good role model in promoting healthy habits, don't fret; it is never too late to teach good behavior. One example of such behavior is to stock up on healthy foods to have readily available like fresh fruits, tasty yogurts and plenty of bite size veggies.
Get Your Kids Involved in the Kitchen
Often children who are picky eaters can be encouraged to try new foods when they are given the opportunity to get involved with the preparation process. A child who works side by side in the kitchen with an adult will take pleasure in her ability to create and bring healthy foods to the table.
Keep it relaxed and fun. Remember, this is a great opportunity to have some good quality time with your child. Take advantage of this time spent by getting excited about healthy eating all while educating your child with tidbits of information.
Plant a Garden
A great way to get those kids sampling a variety of fruits and veggies is to plant a spectacular garden in your backyard featuring such items as carrots, berries and tomatoes. Children who learn to plant seeds, harvest and nurture what they grow themselves are more opt to taste their wonderful creations and share them with others. Don't be overwhelmed; start off small and continue to introduce new plants to your garden. You'll want to find simple, fun recipes to help your child create wonderful meals using the garden grown produce.
It doesn't have to be difficult to get your children to at least try new food types. One way to do this is to implement the "one-bite rule." This simply means that your child agrees to take at least one bite to see if they like it. If not, they do not have to finish it.
At each meal time, it should be understood that even if there is something on their plate that was previously tasted that did not pass the "I like" test, your child will still try the "one-bite rule." Explain to your children that their taste buds can change over time and they may acquire a liking for a particular food.
The "One-Bite" Game
Make a "meal time" game out of the above mentioned "one-bite" process. For example, get excited by saying," I wonder if this is the time your tongue will like broccoli." Have the whole family get involved as everyone sits on the edge of their seat waiting for the verdict. Your child will actually get excited over the attention and the possibility of acquiring a new taste. Make a cheese sauce for dipping to trick the tongue, if necessary.