Getting your children excited about eating healthy food is one of the major struggles of modern parenting. And it’s no surprise really, think about all the advertisements for junk food your children probably come across on a daily basis, think about all their friends at school munching away on sweets and chocolate during lunch!
It’s not hard to see why healthy food seems so unappealing to them! I mean, think back to when you were a child! Chances are, you weren’t so keen on the green, healthy stuff either. But as parents, we strive to make our children as healthy as we possibly can, and the easiest way to do this, is to get them just as excited about healthy eating as you are.
There are several ways you can do this – and trust me, they’re not as complicated as you might have initially thought. You don’t have to disguise things or use trickery – you just have to be honest and use a little parenting magic. So here goes…
1. Get your children to help cook
Getting your children involved in the cooking side of food means that they feel like creators – and they are excited to try eating what they just made with their own hands! Cooking a healthy pizza is a great place to start (and a great way to ease them in). Make some healthy dough and get some low-fat cheese, and them ask you child to choose which toppings they want on their pizza. Allow them one meat (wafer thin ham is always a good choice as it is practically water) and then top up with lots of healthy vegetable choices. It works like a charm! And because your children know the pizza was made by them – they feel less scared of or wary of the healthy food.
2. Always eat dessert
This sounds like a funny way of making children healthier – but if you start introducing fun fruit into dessert then the children will feel excited about it. Don’t just stick to boring apples and pears – mix it up a little bit. Try pineapple, raspberry’s, strawberry’s, star fruit and grapes – and make fun shapes out of them. Your children won’t be able to resist. It’s also a common fact that most children will be more open to fruit than they will be to vegetables – so keep this in mind if you child is particularly stubborn.
3. Grow the vegetables and fruit yourselves
If you have a garden or even a window ledge, then you can be growing the good stuff. Give your children the responsibility of growing them, watering them, planting them and picking them and they’ll start to really get excited about the end product. Make a big deal out of it too – and when the veg or fruit finally emerges – have a big family meal to celebrate the cooking of the freshly grown produce! You child will feel proud and excited!
4. Do the shopping together
Get your child involved in the shopping and you’ll see their interest in fruit and veg completely improve. If you currently order your food online (whilst it is convenient) it’s ruining the interaction that your child should be having with food. Take them around the super market at least once a month to look at all the produce, and even let them pick and choose anything that catches their eye. They’ll not only feel valued – but they’ll be excited to share their choices with the rest of the family!
5. Do a cooking competition
If you have multiple children then arrange a week of cooking competitions where the most healthy meal wins… This is a great way to not only getting them thinking healthily, but also to get them excited and encouraged to make things healthy too. Most children love having a friendly competition against their siblings, but if your child is an only child then don’t worry you can still do this one! Just have them compete against you instead! It’s a really fun way of getting them to actively think about what they’re eating in a fun way.
6. Get them to start a food blog
Getting your children blogging isn’t only a good idea because it means they’re writing on a regular basis – but it’s also really smart because it will encourage them to record what they eat and take note of it. You could make it a family project even – and you could see who has recorded the best meals that week!