How to Make Healthy Eating Fun for Kids
Trying to help your kids make healthy choices may be challenging, but it can be done. Here are some tips from my ebook “Teaching Kids How To Eat Well: A Series of Healthful Eating Tip Sheets for Kids and Teens” of how you can make healthy eating fun for kids at any age.
Toddlers and Young Children
- Entice picky eaters with whimsical food shapes. Make sandwiches, fruit and veggies interesting by using cookie cutters to transform them in to fun and inviting shapes.
- Encourage your child to invent new snacks.
- When shopping with your preschooler, make picking out vegetables and fruits fun by playing the “Rainbow Game.” Say to your child “Today lets pick out a fruit and vegetable that is yellow,” and work your way through the rainbow.
- At this age kids want to feel like they have some say in what they eat. Let your kids plan the menu.
- Take them shopping with you to buy all the ingredients.
- Let them help you prepare the meal. Kids are generally more likely to eat healthy food when they have helped plan and prepare meal.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov suggests naming a food your child helps make such as “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner.
- Oh the wonderful teens! To make healthy eating fun at this age you must think like a teen. Teach teenagers that eating “healthier” doesn’t mean that they need to give up their favorite foods altogether. It is all about balance and for many teens, this means eating the right amount of food.
- Pay attention to portion sizes, not too much and not too little. It also means adding foods with nutritional value to their diet, for example having a smaller bag of chips along with an apple or switching from higher fat chips to pretzels.
- Have your teen help cook dinner. This is a perfect opportunity for you to help him become more knowledgeable about food safety and preparation as well as providing ample time for the both of you to catch up.
Please share any tips you have on getting your kids to eat healthy!