8 Hacks for Parents to Get Their Children to Eat Healthy Food
The number of obese children worldwide is expected to reach 250 million by 2030, and everyone knows how difficult it can be to get kids to eat healthy food, especially if they’re picky eaters. Because of that, little tricks like these can come in very handy.
The Bright Side team encourages you to try these hacks and let us know how useful they were for you.
1. Make healthier versions of things they already love.
Junk food can get be tempting to eat on a regular basis. But the intake of unhealthy foods has been associated with lower academic performance. To combat this, you can adjust your children’s favorite not-so-healthy dishes by adding or substituting certain ingredients.
2. Turn food into fun shapes and sizes.
Nothing makes kids more excited to eat than when their food comes in fun shapes. Animals, cartoons, numbers, letters, or even dinosaurs can do the trick. A cute-looking meal can make all the difference in kids paying attention to their food long enough to eat it.
3. Get inspiration from their favorite TV shows and movie characters.
Many parents worry about how TV, movies, and videogames can be unhealthy for their children. However, a study found that when children watch cartoons that promote healthy eating, they make better choices when it comes to food. So it’s best to keep an eye on what your kids are watching on TV.
4. Involve them while cooking and grocery shopping.
It has been shown that children are more likely to try foods that they’ve helped cook. Involving them in the cooking process can encourage kids to eat healthier and try new things. Also, taking toddlers to the supermarket can be productive and educational (and even fun) for them.
5. Make healthy snacks easily accessible.
A lot of times, when kids come home from school or sports practice, they’re hungry and want to eat something. This can be a great opportunity to make them eat a healthy snack, so have these choices nearby. It can be as simple as having fresh fruit or sliced-up carrots ready for them to munch on.
6. Sneak vegetables into their meals.
You can add veggies into smoothies or slice them finely enough to put them in their favorite dishes. Although this trick can be useful, it’s always good to tell kids that vegetables are essential to our bodies and that we should eat them daily.
7. Talk about healthy ingredients positively.
Kids pick up on a lot of cues from their parents, teachers, siblings, and even TV. You can use that to your advantage when it comes to food. Generally, they also acknowledge phrases like, “This is delicious,” rather than the “eat this because it’s good for you” approach.
8. Pair something they like with something they don’t.
This hack is pretty simple — serve something your kids don’t like with something that they do. Research shows that pairing their favorite foods with vegetables is a great way to introduce children to veggies, especially if your child is a picky eater.
Have you tried any of these tricks? What other hacks would you add to this list?