Healthy eating and proper nutrition are at the forefront of every responsible parent’s mind when it comes to working out what to feed our kids. We want our children to grow up with healthy eating habits and with the ability to enjoy a positive relationship with food. That’s not to say that we want to limit our children’s experimentation with different cuisines and tastes; we simply want to prevent our children from becoming some of the 30% of teens in the USA that are overweight. So, how do we address this? Like most things, healthy eating begins at home. Take a look at these intuitive ways to get your kids eating well.
The Dreaded Vegetables
Kids love beige. They’ll gorge on white bread, potatoes, and pasta and enjoy the blandness of flavor. However, what can you do to ensure that your kids don’t survive on a diet of beige alone? The key is to celebrate what your children do love. The most palatable vegetables for kids tend to be peas, carrots, corn, and broccoli. Accept this and create healthy family meals using these ingredients. Don’t suddenly add a some sauteed brussels sprouts or some wilted spinach.
Try not be tempted to hide vegetables. This may work for a short time but kids are pretty savvy, and you won’t be addressing the crux of the problem. When introducing new vegetables, go slowly and don’t force the issue. Make trying new foods less daunting and more of a fun experience. Talk to your kids about when you were younger and how you despised mushrooms as you tuck into a wild mushroom quiche. Explain to them how tastes change and that theirs are still developing.
The Sweet Stuff
Eating different food groups in moderation is key. There is nothing wrong with having a slice of cake or a piece of candy. The issue arises when your child is eating too much sweet stuff every day and runs the risk of developing diabetes later in life. Snacks should consist of healthy food like fruit, raisins, vegetable sticks and yogurt.
The best way to satisfy a sweet tooth is to make your own sweet treats for your kids. Try your hand at whipping up a sugar-free banana loaf or a batch of pumpkin and cranberry muffins that only need a hint of honey and zero sugar. If your kids are ice cream fanatics, swap the cream for almond milk and the sugar for agave. Invest in a high-quality 4-quart ice cream freezer that enables you to make enough of the sweet stuff to then ration throughout the week. At only 129 calories instead of over 300 calories, sugar-free blueberry and banana ice cream is a guilt-free treat that will fix any sweet craving.
Our children are the most precious things in our lives, and we want to see them grow up into healthy adults. By stamping out bad food habits in childhood, you are increasing their chances of having a positive relationship with food in the future.