In many homes, meal time is a daily battle. Stubborn kids might insist on eating the same food every day or might resist healthy options. These four tips could help you to get your children to eat wholesome food without having to negotiate, barter or bribe them to do it.
Model Healthy Eating Behavior
Most kids are more likely to eat healthy foods if they see their parents, grandparents and caregivers doing it, too. Model healthy behavior and be a good role model for your children. When your children see you choosing Greek yogurt over a big bowl of ice cream or an apple instead of a bag of chips, they will be more likely to make their own healthy choices.
Eat Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is an ideal choice for even the choosiest of eaters. A piece of whole wheat bread, like that available from Klosterman Baking Company, makes a great foundation for a sandwich. Allow your child to build his or her own sandwich with cheese, sliced vegetables or deli meat. Whole wheat bread also works well for a nut butter and fruit preserves sandwich. Whether your child eats it fresh or toasted, it provides essential whole grains, minerals and vitamins.
Provide a Selection of Wholesome Options
Some children are picky when it comes to eating wholesome food. Provide a variety of options and allow your child to choose. For example, set out a rainbow of fresh fruits. Red and green grapes, pineapple, apple slices, orange segments, cantaloupe and berries appeal to a child’s senses of sight, texture, taste and smell. Serve food in bento boxes. Small amounts of many different foods are separated and served in an attractive way.
Take the Kids Grocery Shopping
Take the kids grocery shopping and allow them to see the full range of available foods. Walk through the entire produce section. Explore the ethnic foods and try new spices on food you already enjoy. If possible, visit a farmer’s market. Speak with the growers and ask them questions about how to enjoy different foods. Encourage your children to try a new food each week.
You do not have to overhaul your family’s cabinets and refrigerator in a single day. Take the journey to a wholesome diet step by step. Make one or two healthy changes each week until your family is eating a nutritious and healthy diet. One week, switch to whole wheat bread. Next week, keep up with the healthier bread and add a new vegetable.