Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Introducing Healthy Foods to Your Family

When it comes to picky eaters, we get how difficult it can be to introduce them to new foods. For some kids (and adults) pickiness can come from a texture, a smell, or color. While introducing your kids to new foods or getting them to eat their vegetables can be hard, keep in mind that the goal is to introduce your picky eater to new and healthy options. Here some tips for getting even your pickiest eater to try new foods:

Be patient. Getting your picky eater to eat the foods you want them to eat can be frustrating. Keep offering a wide variety of flavors, textures, and items to your picky eater. Our tastes and preferences will change with time, exposure, and experience.

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Model good habits. Simply put, if you want your child to eat healthier foods, then you will need to eat healthier, too. Make choosing healthier options a habit for all your meals. Depending on how old your kids are, now may be a good time to talk about why we eat healthy food for healthier bodies.

Let them help. When you are choosing recipes, grocery shopping, and making meals, let your kids help. Being a part of the process can help them to understand why certain options are healthier. Having a hand in cooking dinner or packing lunchboxes can help them become more excited about eating it since they had a hand in making it.

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Make it fun. Experiment with dinner for a fun family adventure. Make it an exploration of difference cultures by having a monthly dinner that focuses on a country and food. Have an Italian night with spaghetti and prosciutto, or a Japanese sushi night. Trying new food experiences and learning about new places can be exciting for youngsters.


Make substitutes. Sometimes, something as simple as substituting one vegetable for another can help ease them into trying new foods. Think tomatoes for red bell peppers, iceberg lettuce for Swiss chard or other healthier greens (which pack more in nutrients and essential vitamins than lighter greens), or green beans for sugar snap peas.

eat-547511_640.jpgMake it an adventure.  Sometimes it’s the presentation that makes all the difference in getting your child to try new foods. Try cutting different foods with a cookie cutter or present it in a cute way like with these bento boxes. This new appearance can be enough to make your child brave enough to try something new.

Pack your pantry. Pack your pantry with healthier options to limit the temptation of unhealthy and processed foods. You and your kids will be more successful if there isn’t an extra bag of chips or stash of soda in the corner.

Sneak in healthy foods. Sneaking veggies into your meals can be an excellent way to give your kids essential vitamins and nutrients. For example, adding avocado or spinach into a smoothie can add plenty of healthy essentials without impacting the flavor or appearance. For other recipes that sneak in vegetables, visit kidsactivitesblog.com for 45 recipes that sneak in veggies.