Teaching kids to eat healthy – make it fun!
Preschoolers: 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. Also, keep foods colorful!
Elementary or Middle School: 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 made some decisions about the meal.
High School: Oh the wonderful teens! At this age you must think like a teen. Focus on how eating healthier food will help them perform better at sports, a musical, dance or dramatic production, or in science or math club. Talk about how eating healthy is relevant to their life now rather than some far-off goal like preventing heart disease.
Bonus: Make preparing healthy food fun for you by blending in healthy ingredients to your child’s favorite dishes. A little sneaky, yes, but fun all the same!
Examples of sneaking in goodness:
- Blend in finely chop carrots or mushrooms into spaghetti sauce.
- Shred some zucchini and mix it in with pancake or waffle batter. Cook as usual and the zucchini will melt right in.
- Sprinkle finely chopped spinach or kale on top of pizza before or after baking.
- Finely mince vegetables and add them to hamburger or turkey patties.
- Add shredded zucchini and/or carrots to your next batch of homemade muffins.