As a parent we all face the toughest times with our kid at the dinner table. The eternal struggle to have them eat healthy seems to be biggest worry of every parent. The nutritious diet including fruits, vegetables and dairy is important for the complete growth of children.
One might have been happy to introduce these important meal constituents right from the beginning but as the infants cross the age of 2 years, where their cognitive thinking begins to shape, they have their own set of likes and dislikes.
After reading many books, discussing with my pediatrician, and some with my personal experience, I have come up with the six most important points that can trick your kids stick to healthy food.
- Being a Role Model
We as parents if can control our taste buds, we can set as an example to them. If we stop relying on junk items like the potato chips, cold drinks, desserts and move to healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies our kids will be inspired to have them.
- Buying only the healthier options
The second best idea is to buy what you want your kids to have. Say for the same rice and bread there are healthier versions available. So when shopping for grocery if we always look out for the healthy substitutes, we shall already have won half the battle.
- Giving variety
We all like to have options to choose from, when it comes to food. Like adults, kids too are control freak. Instead of cooking one dish for your little ones, if you give them a choice, they feel happier.
- Veggies first
When the child is hungry he is going to eat whatever offered. So always start meal with raw salads, like the cucumber, beet root, carrot, boiled peas etc. Also change the recipe by changing the salad dressing. This trick really works well.
- Choosing the right words
If you add heavy adjectives (like healthy) to the food they tend not to be interested in food anymore. Instead you can trick them by saying how a particular ingredient enhances the taste of the meal. This works better with many kids. Also remember not to bribe kids for finishing their food. This goes not too well with them, they will start to hate the food for sticking them to table.
- No snacking between meals
It’s an important mantra for healthy eating. Feeling hungry in between the meals is quite natural. Food tastes yummy when one is hungry. Don’t let your kids snack in between the meal times if you want them to enjoy a proper and healthy meal.
Taking these steps you can prevent turning the dining table into battle zones and instill healthy eating habits in your children.
P.S: Article first appeared at https://www.xplorabox.com/blog/tricking-your-kid-to-eat-healthy/