Just like adults children need a healthy balanced diet. By ensuring children are receiving a nutritious diet you can be confident they are getting all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to promote healthy growth and development. While you may know and understand the importance of feeding your child a balanced diet it is not always well received by the younger members of the family. So, here are some tips to encourage your children to eat a balanced diet and help keep the whole family healthy.
Lead by example
No child likes to learn by the mantra ‘do as I say not as I do’. Children replicate their parents and if they see you eating a variety of healthy foods they are more likely to be persuaded to do so themselves. They certainly won’t sit there eating up all of their broccoli if you are sat there munching on a burger and fries.
Eat a rainbow
Try to make your plate as colorful as possible as this will ensure that there is a huge variety of nutrients on that plate. A colorful plate will make a meal more appealing meal than beige oven-cooked foods. You could also make your mealtimes fun by challenging your children to eat a rainbow or think of as many foods as they can that match the colors of the rainbow. If you need some inspiration here are some colorful food ideas;
Trial and error
The only way you will know if your children will or won’t eat something is to try them with it. Encourage them to constantly try new foods and to experiment with the flavors and textures of foods. If they don’t like something one day then don’t discard it forever. Tastes change so be sure to revisit it at a later date. The more you try the more you are likely to succeed.
Get the children involved
Try and encourage your children to help out in the kitchen and to prepare the meals with you. By doing this they get to see exactly what goes into the food they are eating and how. This is a great way to combat some of the anxiety your child may have around certain meals. Children love to be involved and another way to do this is to let them choose some of the meals. Allow them the opportunity to decide what the family eats for dinner one night, just add the proviso that it has to involve a mix of protein, carbs, and vegetables. Not only will they be involved in the process you will be helping to encourage them to make healthy choices.
Make food fun
Where you can try and inject a little humor into the food your children eat. Cut it up into funny shapes, spell out words or create smiley faces. Remember food is meant to be enjoyed and this is a great way to make it enjoyable.