While most kids happily chow down sweets and junk food, they can run amok when faced with healthy greens. Often, the main reason for your child’s sudden transformation into a picky eater is the taste, texture or color of the healthy meal. In many causes healthy food just isn't enticing enough. Eating healthy food is vital for growing children. Here are tips to ensure that your little ones consume healthy food and how to support their gut health with probiotic supplements.
Variety is the way to go.
If you give your kids one healthy dish that they don’t like, chances are they are going to spend the entire meal playing with the food and perhaps, feeding it to the floor and walls. One of the ways to ensure that your kids do eat healthy food is to include a number of healthy items on the plate, giving them different options. This makes them think that they have plenty of different options to choose from and are in control.
Practice what you preach.
Kids learn by observation—they observe their parents, their teachers, and their older siblings—and then they'll begin to imitate them. If you are asking your kids to eat healthy, then you should lead by example. Sit together to eat a meal and ensure that your plate has the same food on it. Pile healthy foods on your plate, while letting kids know about the health benefits of doing so.
Finger foods are your best friend.
Finger foods are perhaps the best healthy food items for kids because they can be eaten anywhere, anytime, and offer your kids a degree of autonomy. Offer finger foods when your child is playing and they are more likely to eat them without a second thought. Cut healthy snacks like carrots or cucumbers in the shape of French fries, or use star or heart-shaped cutters to make them even more appealing. Serving finger foods with a yogurt dip is also a great way to introduce natural probiotics to your child's diet simply.
Use stealth to incorporate healthy food into your child’s diet.
If you find that your child fusses over healthy food, you may need to resort to stealth tricks. For example, if your child refuses to eat vegetables try adding them to their favorite pizza as a topping. You can also consider substituting foods. Cauliflower mash is a healthier option when compared with mashed potatoes. If you are looking for ways to get your child to eat more fruit or drink more milk, consider blending them together for a colorful smoothie. You can also use healthy ingredients such as spinach and squash to make pastas from scratch.
Use honey to your advantage.
Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One of the ways to make fruits more attractive is to add a bit of sweetness by drizzling honey on them.
Involve your kids in the cooking process.
Whether it's choosing fruits at your local produce market or plucking herbs from your garden, involve your kids in the preparation of your meals for better results. Ask your kids to help by washing vegetables, stirring a pot, pressing the microwave button, grating cheese or cutting soft veggies, under supervision, of course. When you make your children a part of the process, they are more likely to be anxious to try the final product.
Stick to a routine.
Stick to a routine every day when it comes to offering snacks and meals to your kids. Growing kids need to consume three proper meals and plenty of fluids and healthy snacks throughout the day.
Be patient while introducing new food items.
Kids require a little time to warm up to new foods and get used to the flavors. Do not push your child, but rather give them the time that they need to become familiar with the new healthy options. Losing your patience or raising your voice can be counter-productive.
Turn off all the distractions.
If your kid habitually watches TV or uses some other gadget during meals, see to it that you switch it off. Other than avoiding advertisements for junk food, your kid will also give all of his/her attention to eating the foods on their plate.
Getting your children to eat more healthy foods can be tricky and will test your patience. As you work on helping your child consume more healthy foods consider supplementing with vitamins and probiotics to support gut health. They may not start eating healthy foods immediately, but do not give up, you are never alone.