Feb 27

Surprising Ways to Get Kids Eating Healthy

Serve dinner for breakfast

Leftover chicken and rice for breakfast? Pancakes for dinner? Well, why not? If it was a healthy, balanced meal last night, it’s still a healthy, balanced meal this morning — and vice versa. We’re the ones who teach kids the notion of what food is appropriate for what meal,

Get the kids cooking

If kids can make it, kids are more likely to eat it. Another tactic is letting your family serve themselves from bowls in the middle of the table, as opposed to just plunking plates down in front of them.

Make dessert part of the meal

We know you’re thinking: “Won’t they just eat the dessert first?” Maybe — but only until the novelty wears off. This way, dessert just becomes part of the meal for kids, instead of a “reward” for polishing off their potatoes. You’ll be surprised when your child suddenly takes a bite of dessert along with a bite of something else, instead of just gobbling up the dessert first. Of course, the type of dessert is key: Fresh fruit is the obvious first choice, but apple crisp, rice pudding, homemade oatmeal cookies, frozen yogurt or banana bread are other good options.

Go grazing

Most parents overestimate the size of their kids’ stomachs. So small meals and snacks spread over the day are actually better than the old “three squares.” The other advantage to offering smaller meals and two or three snacks in between is that if one meal is a flop, there’s another opportunity for healthy eating just around the corner.

Just be consistent when it comes to timing. This way your children will develop their own hunger cues — but don’t force kids to eat if they’re not hungry. Choose a variety of healthy, kid-friendly snacks. Grazing is a really healthy way to get in extra good-for-you foods,

Glam up fruit and veggies

Tired of saying “Eat your vegetables”? Try serving fruit and vegetables in unexpected ways. From fruit and yogurt ice pops to sweet potato and zucchini fries, anything out of the ordinary is guaranteed to pique their interest. And it’s okay to add a taste booster to veggies, Try a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of cheese on veggies like broccoli, corn and spinach. It really does enhance the flavour and make it tastier for kids — and adults!”

And don’t consider frozen or canned a cop-out — they can be both healthy and handy. (think instant smoothie or stir-fry). In fact, during the cooler months you might find more nutritious, tastier produce in the frozen food section versus the produce section. Frozen and canned produce is processed at peak ripeness, so it’s at its most flavourful and highest in nutrients.

Source: Today’s Parent

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