Getting kids to eat healthier really falls on parents more than anyone else. It’s all a combination of what the little ones were exposed to early on in life, what’s in the house, how meals are prepared and how seriously we as parents take being in charge of their food intake. So after many years (22) of trying a few different ways to get my kids to eat better, I’ve come up with the following as some of my main strategies.
It saves you a ton of headaches if you begin feeding healthy food as a baby. When you start them out as babies who are first beginning to eat solids, wow….do you save yourself trouble. I’ve proven this myself over and over when I made an effort to feed plenty of veggies and fruit as new toddlers. I can tell the kids I did this with and the ones I didn’t in my family. I bet you could to given enough time to see them all eat.
Plenty of soft cooked carrots, cut into very small pieces with some boiled potato cut the same way, then served to them in their high chairs. Once you start this routine, don’t give up on it. Falling away from it can send things south too. Even for a short time. Consistency is everything.
Serve Plenty of Fresh Options
I think keeping things simple by leaving out some carrot sticks and celery with the jar of peanut butter, or some fruit in a bowl sends the message that these are what should be getting eaten and what’s available. In my own experience with this issue, I think kids do well by exploring food one by one and then perhaps adding to it. For instance, maybe leave some vinaigrette out in a small bowl to let the kids dip the veggies into.
Don’t Short Order Cook
I briefly got into this really bad habit a few years back. What got me away from it is how quickly it snowballed out of control. My advice? Never begin doing this. You’ll regret it the moment you start. It’s like everyone feels like it’s a free for all and they can have whatever they want. Instead, stick to one healthy meal that everyone eats and finishes together. Not only is it healthier, it brings unity to the family and your household.
Don’t Keep Junk Food Around
Life changed when I got divorced and my ex husband began to keep a lot of junk around which wasn’t there when we were married. He was time deficient and needed to make quick bag lunches and sides for meals. He relied on junk food in the shelves to go with a sandwich rather than cutting up some fresh fruit, or veggie sticks of some sort. If you just abstain from keeping these in your cupboard in the first place you can’t use them as a quick “go to”. Just say no at the grocery store.
Source: My life with 8 kids