It can be difficult to find healthy, affordable foods that kids will actually enjoy. Children’s tastes are still developing and most kids go through some sort of picky stage. However, childhood is an extremely important time in life for building food habits that can last a lifetime.
So getting your kid off to a nutritious start is a great decision! Here are some tips and ideas for incorporating healthy foods into your little one’s life.
Don’t Force the Healthy Foods Too Much
When a picky eater decides they suddenly don’t like a healthy food, it can be difficult to accept. But forcing your child to eat a food they hate might make them dislike the food even more. Often when they reject a food, it is more about asserting their independence than actually disliking it. So giving the child a little space lets them return to the food on their own time.
Quick, Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
This delicious crunchy snack is actually a whole grain, and can go towards the goal of making half your grains whole! But before you reach for the movie theater style popcorn, it is important to know that it can be loaded with unhealthy fats and sodium. Make a healthy version of popcorn at home on the stovetop or in the microwave using olive or canola oil. Then top the popcorn with a little salt or get creative with other toppings.
Provide your child with dipping-sized veggies along with hummus, bean dip, or a light dressing. Let them dip the vegetables themselves and decide on what they like or don’t like.
Tips on Sneaking in Veggies
Cut up veggies very small before adding them into dishes. This will decrease the texture they add to the dish and help them blend in better.
Top Well-liked Dishes with Veggies
Try adding veggies to foods your child already likes. For example, add bell peppers or mushrooms to pizza.
If your child rejects veggies on sight, try sneaking them into dishes he or she likes. If your child is especially suspicious, pick veggies that blend in with the food (like cauliflower in mac and cheese or tomatoes in spaghetti).
Posted April 8th, 2015