So, you want to make sure that your child likes to eat healthy, whole foods. That’s what any organic parent wants! Luckily, getting your kids to eat healthy is not too difficult – it’s all about presentation and perspective.
The following tricks (and no, they don’t involve “hiding” vegetables, or smothering a sandwich in cheese) will help in getting kids to eat healthy--and actually be excited about meals that are full of unprocessed, whole foods.
1. Good food tastes good
Canned veggies taste pretty bland. Microwaved peas? That's not appetizing. However, a fresh tomato from the farmers market looks good enough to eat on the spot! Getting fresh, local fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to eat will help any meal taste great, and look appealing to your child’s discerning eye.
2. Make shopping for food a fun event
If you’re lucky enough to have a farmers market within walking distance from your home, take your little one with you. The experience of walking with you and helping you pick out all sorts of fresh vegetables and fruits will help your child feel like they had a hand in the meal selection. And your daughter will be more willing to try those healthy, whole foods once they end up on her plate.
3. Mealtime = fun time
Make a ritual out of dinner and emphasize how much fun it is to prepare a meal and then sit and enjoy it with family. If your children are old enough to help out, ask them to wash the veggies or set the table. Making mealtime fun and interactive gets your kids more excited to sit down and eat.
4. Make food fun
Sometimes food can look just plain weird to a little kid’s eyes. So, sometimes, it helps to have your kid make believe they are something else that has to eat their greens to become more powerful.
For example, if your kid baulks at the idea of eating broccoli, tell her she just needs to eat five of the “little, green trees” to outrun all her dinosaur friends. Or if your child turns his nose up at carrots, tell him that in order to be the fastest bunny around, all he has to do is eat three carrots. Storytelling can, at the very least, get some of those healthy foods in your kid, and show them that those foods really do taste good.
5. Get creative
Serve vegetables with vibrant colors to get your kid interested about what’s on her plate. Also, arrange your kid’s food in a sun shape, or a smiley face. The presentation will get your child to interact with her food.
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Image: tom and katrien