You want the best for your family and food is a healthy way to interact with your kids.
School your children early with board books about fruits and vegetables. Involve them when you go grocery shopping identifying the fruits and vegetables and picking out healthy choices. Kids are more likely to eat healthy if they are engaged in the process of selection, planning and preparation of their meals. You can make meal preparation fun and creative that kids will look forward to. Make scenes with your food, pancake or sandwich faces, craft animals from celery sticks, peanut butter and apples or raisins. We are taught not to play with our food but a little fun time can be good.
Where Food Comes From
A great way to teach kids about food is to visit the source. Maybe you have space for a garden and can involve your kids in the growing of the food they will eat. Or maybe you can visit a farm, a U pick, Farmers Market or even join a community garden. How fun it can be to grow, care for and pick fresh fruits and vegetables together.
Keep a good choice of healthy snack options at home or when you are on an outing. Carrot sticks, sliced apples or cucumbers, grapes or raisins, bananas, whole grain crackers, yogurt, popcorn. Seasonal fresh snacks of sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, berries, peaches and other sliced fruit is a treat.
Maybe your child is picky about eating fruits and vegetables in the whole form. A good way to be sure they get a mix of fruits and vegetables is making fresh vegetable juice or a smoothie. Carrots, celery, beets and a little ginger make a yummy vegetable combination (you would need a juice machine for best results). Bananas, strawberries (or other fruit choices) , yogurt and coconut water, almond or soymilk make a yummy smoothie and the variation of combinations of what is right for your family is limitless and a great way to introduce new fruits. The end result is you are happy knowing your kids have drank their fruits or vegetables.
Be a Good Example
Let your child see you make healthy food choices. If your kids see you eating healthy that will become a norm in their lives. Maybe you can read ingredient labels together, if your kids see it is important to you then it will be important to them to develop healthy eating habits.
Try, Try Again
If your kids reject a new fruit or vegetable, don’t give up. Take a break and offer at a different setting. There are many creative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into main dishes if you search for new recipes.- Zucchini noodles. Banana and fruit pancakes, cauliflower crust pizza, etc…
Make it fun and start young.