Ok, so after reading our last article [you can read it here] you know how important it is to set a good ‘food’ example for your kids because they really do watch – and mimic – everything you do. Essentially, we gave you a whole list of “Don’ts” and ways you shouldn’t act around your kids in regards to eating because you WILL influence them, whether you intend to or not.
So now that you know how not to act, it’s time to give you a list of Do’s: things that you CAN do and steps you CAN take in order to help your kids try, like, and eventually ask for healthier snacks and foods.
But how can you get your kids to start eating healthier, especially if they’ve already gotten into the routine of eating chicken nuggets and French fries for every meal?! Won’t it just be a constant battle?!
No… although I’m not promising it will always be easy either, especially initially. But the longer you stick with the things listed below (and keep up with your list of Don’ts as well), you will be amazed at how your little one will eat – and even truly enjoy – healthy food options.
Now to get you started, here are 5 things to start working into your routine:
- Bring your kids grocery shopping and let them pick out healthy options. Yes, this can be tough, especially if your child is used to picking out and/or eating lots of snack foods that aren’t [exactly] the healthiest. However, if you take them over to the produce section and let them touch, hold and smell the various fruits and veggies it will help them feel like it was their decision in choosing those foods. You can even ask a store employee if they will let you taste some of the foods your child chooses. Most stores are more than willing to accommodate this – you just have to ask!
- Let kids become part of the prepping process. We all can attest to the fact that we feel more connected to something that we literally had to earn ourselves or put our sweat-equity into gaining. The same can be said for kids who help with the meal process. Whether it’s grabbing the food for you out of the pantry, washing the produce, or setting the table, when a child can say they helped make the meal, they will be all the more excited to eat it [which is why my Super Powders in their shake containers have become such a huge hit!].
- Cut foods into fun shapes or let your child eat them in a cool container or on a special plate. No matter if your 1 or 101, the way foods appear on our plates make a big impact on how appetizing the meal looks. Why do you think fancy restaurants can charge so much for an entrée that wouldn’t even fill up a toddler?! It’s all the way in how the food is presented. Cut fruit into stars or tell them broccoli florets are mini trees – whatever is going to help your child “relate” to their food. They even have some awesome plate ideas on Amazon to help make eating more of a game for kids – because what kid doesn’t like to play with their food?! One of my favorites is probably this board game.
- Show them how much YOU enjoy eating healthy. If you are one of those people who always “save” your veggies ‘til the end of your meal and kind-of just push them around your plate a bit before gagging them down, your kids will definitely notice! Eat them first or incorporate them in-between bites so kids realize how much of an importance they play in your meal, and then inevitably theirs.
- Include at least 1 (hopefully much more) nutritional foods in every single meal and snack. Food is what fuels us and helps keeps us going throughout the day. Kids should learn this young. It will not only give them a healthier appreciation of food now, but will set them on the right track for their future as well.
I know meal times can be a challenge whether or not your child is a good eater, so trying to change up their “routine” by introducing new foods can seem like a daunting task that you just don’t have the energy to deal with. But trust me, taking small baby steps, like the ones listed above, won’t make your child feel like you are forcing them to do anything! Toddlers like being in control and making their own decisions, and by following the steps above, they will feel more in control then they probably have in the past and more inclined to eat good-for-them foods.
And this is why I have created my Super Powders for kids [and adults]. It’s hard ALWAYS eating healthy, especially when you are on-the-go, going to restaurants, or are just hoping that your kid will eat SOMETHING! Super Powders allow your kids to literally sprinkle healthy ingredients onto every single meal they are eating. Now, not only will they feel like they are playing a part in making their meal, they (and more importantly you) know that they are doing something good for their health and are on their way to “making every food a healthier food”.