It’s one thing as an adult making sure you are eating healthy and getting your five a day and all the right stuff for your body, but trying to get your kids to eat right! Now that is a really tough sell and over the years with my own kids I have had many let’s just say disagreements at dinner time when they would act like I was some kind of prison warden force feeding them gruel. But over the years I have come up with a few ways to get them to eat a few more healthy things. At the end of the day they are kids so I want them to enjoy childhood and have nice snacks, but I do want to make them eat at least one healthy meal a day and here are a few of the “tricks” I would use.
You Are Not Running A Small Café
I made the mistake of allowing my kids to dictate what they would want for dinner. I would make one thing for me and my partner and then sometime two different meals for the kids! What was I thinking? I certainly made a rod for my own back. But I did start to serve up dinner and what was on the plate was what they would get to eat. I would not argue with them, force them. That was their dinner and it was up to them to eat it. Eventually they got the idea and would just eat dinner, but it was certainly a struggle at first.
Use Tasty Pasta Sauce To Hid Vegetables
Does it make me a bad person that I hide a whole bunch of stuff such as cheddar cheese, sweet potatoes, onions and even the odd lentil in tomato pasta sauce? My kids would drink pasta sauce out of a glass if I would let them and I found that by hiding these things in the pasta they would eat it without question. There was the odd thing that they did not like, but for the most part I used this as a way to wean then onto eating things like sweet potato, but without being coated in bout a gallon of pasta sauce.
Have A Buffett
One thing that I tried and had pretty good success with was rather than serving up everyone their own plate. I would put the food in the middle of the table and then give everyone an empty plate. I would make sure that there would be things that I knew my kids would be willing and happy to eat, but they also were more open to trying other things. My eldest for example was adamant that he would not eat lettuce no matter what. “I would rather die” was an actual quite form my delightful seven year old. But he would see the rest of us eat it and eventually he just grabbed a piece and tried it and now he likes it! I suggest you try the same thing once and while.
Let Them Know Different Food Comes From The Same Thing
My kids would eat French fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them, but they would not even look at “normal” or even mashed potatoes. The way I got them to try mashed potatoes was by drilling into them how they were made from the same thing that French fries were and that there were just like mashed up French fries. Well, it did take some convincing, but they did try it and they were pretty much instantly hooked.
Grow Your Own Food
I know that this one here cannot be done for everyone as it really depends on where you live. But I built a small little area in my garden to grow a few things like tomatoes, potatoes and cabbage. I got the kids involved and they were really excited to try the food they had grown. While cabbage did not go down well, at least they liked the other things that we grew!
You might also be interested in this related article: Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthier