Getting kids to eat healthy food is often easier said than done, especially when they are constantly bombarded with colorful packaging and advertising messages for who knows what flavorful, neon non-food items. Add to that an on-the-go lifestyle where easy, portable meals are a necessity, and health often gets tossed aside for convenience.
While not fool-proof, the following ideas may make eating healthier more doable for your whole family.
Set an example.
You're not foolin' anyone, mom. Plunking veggies and dip in front of the kids while you sneak chips in the kitchen isn't going to work. Your children need to see you eating and enjoying everything you expect them to eat. Be a good example! (And then enjoy a bowl of ice cream with dad after the kids go to bed.)
Offer healthy choices.
Children are empowered by choices, so feel free to offer a few. Just make sure that you're okay with whatever they choose. Peas or green beans? Apples or oranges?
My own kids are starving when they come home from school. No way are they making it to supper without driving us all nutso with the whining. It's better for everyone if I have a healthy snack in mind when they walk through the door.
We go to a lot of ballgames, and my children are always tempted by the concession stand. The game is much more enjoyable for all of us if we eat before we leave, and if I remember snacks from home. Being prepared saves us from eating too much junk and from paying high prices to do it.
Make it easy.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated, and neither does making good choices. When the fresh fruits are washed and ready to grab, the kids (and maybe even mom) are more likely to do so! The opposite is true if it's difficult to get to. I put our special treats in the basement or hidden in the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind!
Serve small portions.
When we're trying new foods or are eating at a potluck, we take special care to give our children really small portions. I'd much rather have the hassle of returning to the buffet for more food than nagging my kids to finish eating so they can go play. Arguing over food is no fun for anyone and is really not necessary. Serve it up small, and then dish out the praise when they eat well.
Make healthy fun.
Healthy food does not have to be boring or tasteless! Some of my kids' favorite meals involve items from our snack lunch tray, fruit smoothies, and popcorn. A simple change of scenery or a fancy plate can make regular 'ol lunch a fancy party.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Horizon Organic brand.