Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy

You and your family can work together to create a positive relationship with healthy food. There are many ways to make the proper foods attractive and tasty so that the children will look forward to eating them eagerly.

Parents Should be Good Role Models

Children learn to model their eating habits from their parents. If they see the parents eating lots of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry, lean meats, and such, they will absorb the fact that this is the proper way to eat. If parents are not used to eating as healthy as they should, they need to re-train their taste buds to also benefit.

Sit Down to Dinner

Research has shown that children who eat dinners with their parents at the table have better nutrition, are smarter because of the discussions that go on, learn better manners, and are less likely to get into serious trouble as they grow up. Of course, it is also important that all cell phones and games are turned off during that time in favor of old-fashioned conversation.

Get Help from the Doctor

Ask the child’s doctor for ideas and print-outs with suggestions of foods and recipes that will intrigue your child and make him or her healthier and wanting to eat the right foods. Doctors are happy to cooperate with parents who want to foster good eating.  Maintaining a positive patient-doctor relationship is incredibly important when raising kids. Some companies, like Solutionreach also know that optimizing patient experience is another component worth your time.

Give Praise

Give your child praise and a smile when he or she makes an especially healthy choice and also when trying a new food. Slower-burning carbohydrates, such as oatmeal for breakfast, will help children maintain attention and concentration throughout the morning in school. Potatoes can be roasted in the oven rather than be offered as potato chips. Instead of candy or a sweet dessert, try dipping strawberries into a little chocolate sauce or make a parfait out of cut-up fruit topped with a dollop of low-fat whipped cream. Keep fresh fruit in a bowl on the table.

Involve the Kids in Grocery Shopping and Food Preparation

Picking out ripe fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market or grocery store or one’s own garden helps capture a child’s interest. Kitchen chores can be made a fun experience as they wash the produce, cut up mushrooms with a butter knife, stir things that they choose for a recipe or salad, arrange food on plates to learn about portion sizes, and similar activities.

The food smarts your children will learn can last a lifetime of health and proper eating that will bring wonderful benefits to their bodies.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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