If your kids are like mine, they love to snack. Anything from popcorn to chips to crackers. It can be really difficult to get them to eat anything at mealtimes that isn’t empty calories. I can’t say I blame them, I was exactly the same way. But I do care that they’re getting enough nutrition through their food since they are both incredibly active and burn through a bag of Cheetos in an hour. Below are some tips I found helpful to getting your kids to eat the healthy stuff too.
Let’s face it, kids love to bargain, barter, connive. If you put the decision in their hands they will think they’re getting the upper hand. It works every time. For example: after school they want popcorn. You tell them while you are popping it they have to eat either a banana, an apple or some carrots.
Make it Taste Good
One of my 7 year olds’ favorite foods is brussels sprouts. How did I get her to eat them? I added caramelized onions and bacon to them. Two foods she loves. This also worked with carrots. We cook them in butter and agave syrup, giving them a yummy glaze. She thinks she’s getting dessert and we know she’s getting a shot of vitamins and vegetables.
Similar to bargaining, kids love options. Give them 2 or 3 choices of a healthy food. That way feel less like you are forcing an unwanted food on them and more like they are taking charge and picking what they eat. Gotta love reverse psychology.
Bring your kiddos into the kitchen. Have them help you prepare dinner or lunch. Let them build their sandwich. They will feel grown up and take an interest in what they’re eating. Plus it’s great time to spend with your kids and gets them away from the electronics.
Try Something New
Let your child pick a new recipe from the cookbook that no one has had. They will think it’s fun to choose something new that you can all experience together. It makes dinnertime a little more exciting.
With all the little successes there will be times where it just doesn’t work. And that’s ok! My son, no matter how hard I try, has never liked cheese. And we are ok with that. I certainly wouldn’t want to be force fed a food I despised. And with so many options, it’s ok if your child doesn’t like certain foods. It could mean they are allergic to them. The important thing is to get them to at least try it and then make the decision if they like it.