How to Feed a Healthy Kid… You Teach Them.
One thing Rachel and I have done over the last several years is to involve our kids in meal planning, shopping, and foremost… Opening them up to trying new things because honestly, it’s exactly how we got started. That totally works where you have control at home, but in many cases school and other extra curricular activities can be challenging, especially with the added peer pressure.
When you put them in an environment around their friends in a school cafeteria with fried and/or other unhealthy options…it can become a real challenge. Meal prepping for your kids everyday throughout the school year can become tough because we all work, right?!?! The earlier you can instill the practice of making healthy food choices in your kids, the more likely they will be to continue making healthy decisions and be conscious about what they put into their bodies.
Involve Them in Choices
We all know the more you tell most kids to do something, the more they will try to do the exact opposite. It is just part of their nature. Try including them in shopping and prepping meals so that they feel like they are making choices. Yes, we need to steer them in the right direction but asking for their input can help make them feel valued and important. For example, if you ask them to choose between two healthy options they will forget about what exactly they are picking and focus more on being allowed to make a decision. If you haven’t heard of Love and Logic you should check it out. Giving kids a decision between two things you approve of is gold, solid freaking gold.
Make it Fun and Exciting
At your local grocery store and specialty stores (we shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), there are new ways to make food fun for kids. Finding ways to be creative with how the food looks can help hide the fact that it may be a healthy option and not what your little one typically likes. This gives your child something to look forward to at lunch time and will help to jump start the process of them enjoying to eat healthy.
More Color the Better
When most people, especially kids, think of healthy food choices they may think bland and boring. Finding healthy options that are bright in color will give your child something to be excited about. Adding color can help make eating fun. Try adding colorful fruits and veggies as much as possible to help change how your kids view what they are eating.
It is important to know that we are not trying to trick or deceive our kids into eating anything (like hiding blended veggies in something) but we are breaking down some hurdles and walls that our children may put up because of how a particular food looks. We want them to know that what they are eating is good for them once they find out that they actually enjoy what they are eating. This will set them up for a lifetime of making healthy food decisions and allow them an opportunity to achieve total fitness in the future.