How to Get Kids to Eat Better: 5 Tips for Every Parent

June 12, 2020

Your child’s eating habits today can influence and impact their health growing up through adulthood. Eating a balanced diet is essential not only to their physical health but also to their mental development. However, it’s not always easy to get kids to eat better. In fact, one of the biggest challenges parents face is dealing with picky eaters. And admit it, there are times you just want to give in when your little one negotiates for pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner because you don’t want them to end up not eating anything at all. 

As challenging as it may seem to make nutritious meals appealing to kids, there’s no need to fret! Read on and learn some tips on how to get kids to eat better!

Offer choices

One of the reasons why young kids are beginning to become picky eaters is because they’re trying to establish independence. If you notice, this is common among toddlers who want to be offered choices instead of being told what to do and what to eat. So, instead of being the one to decide on everything for your little one, start offering them choices.

Giving them options doesn’t mean that they can just eat as much junk as they want. You can still keep in control of their nutrition by making sure that the options they’re presented are all healthy. For instance, you can have them pick between apple and banana for a snack. Or peanut butter and cheese. Or carrots or squash. Giving them these options allows them to feel that their opinion matters and that they can decide for themselves.

Get them involved

Children become more interested in eating if they’re given the chance to be involved in the planning and cooking. So, take time to sit down with your little one and ask them for suggestions on what they want to have for dinner instead of running the risk of having nuggets and pasta every meal. Of course, guidelines have to be set for what each meal has to incorporate. This is an opportunity for you to teach the importance of having a well balanced meal.

Then, take them to the store with you so they can help in picking the produce for you. Let them pick which fruits and vegetables they find appealing. That will make your kids more likely to eat them later on. Then, encourage them to help out in the meal preparation, even with simple tasks. Have them toss the salad or stir a bowl. They’ll love to eat more when they know they were part of how the meal came together.

Allow them to make their own plates

Another trick to get your kids to eat better is to give them autonomy in making their own plates. It’s also an excellent way to encourage them to try new foods. Rather than getting them a plate which you fill in with food of your own choice, let them do this part. They will be more willing to add healthy foods to their plates. This is where the importance of serving healthy meals for the entire family comes in. Serving balanced meals also ensures that your little one gets all the nutritional components they need.

Never force them

Like previously mentioned, getting kids to eat better means giving them the freedom to choose. So, don’t force it. Force doesn’t work well especially with picky eaters. Your patience will be tested at times, and you will feel frustrated, but just keep trying. Try to inject a little creativity when introducing the same type of food more than once. Try different forms and varieties. Use shapes and colors to make food more fun, attractive and appetizing. Again, never use force and let them try it on their own. 

Be a role model

What better way to teach kids how to eat better than leading by example? Parents have a huge influence on their kids’ choices. Therefore, if you want your little one to make healthy food choices, you have to model healthy eating habits yourself. 

Encouraging your little one to eat a well-balanced diet is essential in ensuring their healthy growth and development. If you’ve always struggled in getting your kids to eat better, trying these ideas would be a great start!

If you need more helpful parenting tips or if you’re looking for the best childcare center for your little one, please visit Everley Rose Center

 

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