I am a parent of a picky eater. And when he’s not being picky to only wanting the same few foods then he isn’t eating much at all. So I understand the struggle. There are ways are parents we can encourage our kids to eat healthy.
As parents, we cannot force our children to like certain foods. We can’t make them eat that broccoli we put on the plate over and over again every meal.
But we CAN try.
We can encourage kids to eat healthy by teaching, be a model, and using discipline.
It is the parents’ role to:
…. continuously put healthy and wholesome foods in front of kids.
…. Set regular meal times and eat as a family.
…. Include children in the food preparation, table setting, and clean up.
…. Teach about healthy foods and how they work in our bodies (example: too much sugar is not good for your teeth, healthy dinners make you strong and give you energy, etc.)
…. Avoid or limit fast food restaurants and processed snacks.
Offer Healthy Food
Get rid of junk food —- the entire house will thank you. And only offer healthy options. Think snacks like bananas and peanut butter or veggies make to look like insects.
One of the biggest tips I got was from a friend who has a toddler that eats grilled chicken and all his veggies. But it didn’t happen overnight. She told me to put it out on the plate each night and maybe one day—with lots of encouragement—-he will try it.
Choose bright colored fruits and vegetables and try arranging their food creatively to get them excited for mealtime.
Have Them Use Their Senses
Parents can encourage kids to eat healthy but telling them how delicious certain foods are. Point out the bright colors of peppers or how carrots are great for their eyes. Let them explore the crunch of celery.
Use A Song
Little Baby Bum (on Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube) has songs that encourage healthy eating. Even watching Secret Life of Pets 2 had my toddler asking for carrots.
Find educational movies, songs, shows, books that further teach about healthy eating habits.
Practice What You Preach
If the parent eats healthy, the child will too. Kids often follow what their parents do. And this remains true for eating habits.
Sit down as a family for mealtimes. Make them structured and show them that you eat well too.
Kids need balanced diets that include all of the food groups. And most kids consume three meals and one to three snacks throughout the day.
Here are some kid-tested and approved recipes that help to encourage kids to eat healthy that are easy to make that the whole family can enjoy!