Do you have children that are incredibly finicky about the food they eat? I certainly did, when my son was younger. I learned the hard way that parents must sometimes be very creative in order to get their children to eat healthy food. No need to fret, because I learned some tricks that got the job done. If you want your children to eat well-rounded, nutritious meals, try these 5 tricks.
Let Your Kids Help
When you’re cooking, invite your kids to help. Make it a fun experience and during the process, you can teach your child the benefits of eating the food they are making as well as learn how to prepare it. I found that when I allowed my son to help me with making dinner, he had such a sense of pride and became braver when it came to trying the new dishes that he made. Now, at 16, my son can cook healthy meals for us so I don’t have to.
Create A Reward System
How do you get a dog to sit? Show him how to sit and each time he obeys your command, he gets a treat. Eventually, Fido will sit with just the prompt of your command. Yes, I know our children are not dogs, but behavior modification works the same with most beings. When your child agrees to try new foods, reward them in some way. For example, if your child eats all of their veggies, praise them and then let them know that they will be rewarded with a yummy dessert or a fun activity.
When my son was very little, I was able to get him to eat broccoli by telling him that they were miniature trees. We even set them up on the plate so it looked like he had a forest for dinner. Even to this day, he is still a huge fan of broccoli. Carrot sticks make great witches fingers. Brussels sprouts are adorable little baby cabbages if you pretend you are huge giants and much easier to eat than a whole cabbage! Who said dinner has to be boring?
Head out to the store and buy some sturdy cookie cutters. Cut your veggies, meat, cheese, and other undesired items into cute little shapes. Your child’s plate will be filled with food that is good for them but all they will see are hearts, stars, tulips, and horses. You can also get them to eat nearly any sandwich in their school lunch if the bread is cut into a cute shape. Trust me on this one!
When all else fails, get sly on your little guys. Head for the blender or food processor and start blending foods they need that they refuse to eat. You can mix all sorts of steamed, puréed veggies in things like mashed potatoes, soup or even smoothies. Heck, you could even sneak it in ice cream, but your kids may be on to you if you try to sneak spinach in their cookies and cream dessert. Be sneaky and smart about it, but I suggest trying the prior four suggestions first because it is best if your children learn to love healthy food.
It isn’t so much about tricking your kids into eating healthy, it’s more about making healthy living fun and creative. After all, life is easier to stomach when it’s fun, right?