Motivating Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

March 06, 2018

Fun sandwiches for kids

For most parents, convincing kids to eat their fruits and veggies can be a challenge, but they need good nutrition. We offer helpful tips to encourage healthy eating.

Almost every parent knows how challenging it can be to have kids make healthy choices with food (or even try a new food at all).

Make a Schedule

Create a meal schedule and stick to it as much as possible. If you’re on the go, take a cooler stocked with healthy options so you can avoid stopping for fast food. However, there are many fast food restaurants that offer healthy options like grilled chicken, chili, baked potatoes and protein-packed salads.

Kids + Kitchen = Fun!

Children may be more inclined to eat what they’ve helped prepare. Bonus: it’s quality family time you can enjoy together while being productive. Find some healthy and fun recipes you can tackle as a team.

Dip It

Introduce veggies by offering ranch dressing or hummus with fresh carrots, snap peas or broccoli. Experiment with a variety of vegetables and dips to see what piques your child’s interests. Make it fun by cutting up veggies to resemble animals or interesting shapes.

Limit Unhealthy Food

Buy smaller packages instead of economy bulk-sized options. Offer treats that are sweet but provide some nutrition — apple slices in light caramel sauce, bananas with peanut butter, strawberries in dark chocolate, etc.

Provide Smaller Portions

Scale portions appropriately for the child’s age and needs. For example, a preschooler generally would not require the same intake as their teen sibling. Ask your pediatrician about your child’s individual nutritional requirements.

When they can handle utensils safely, allow them to serve themselves. This will help them feel like a “grown up” and help them understand portion sizes.

Encourage children to take one serving at a time and go back for seconds only if they are still hungry.

Allow Treats

Some say denying occasional treats will only make kids want them more. It’s OK to allow for an occasional treat as part of the big picture.

You can also model good eating habits for your children. And remember: Just because you don’t like a food, doesn’t mean they won’t. Expose your children to a variety of healthy foods — even if they’re not your favorites.

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