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How to Get Your Kids Eating Healthy

Young mum chopping vegetables with twin daughters in a family home kitchen.

You may be having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy foods. For some kids, just the phrase “healthy food” brings on the “yucky” face. However, there are some tricks and tips for getting your kids to eat healthy and loving it. Here are some ideas to get your family started on the road to your kids eating healthy.

Veggies in Disguise

There are all sorts of ways to sneak vegetables into everyday foods. Try some of these:

* Steam and puree carrots, winter squash, or sweet potatoes and stir them into a cheese sauce.
* Put a jar of spaghetti sauce into the blender. Add lightly steamed veggies and whiz them into the sauce.
* Chop spinach and add it to the toppings on homemade pizza.

Replace One Thing at a Time

It’s understandable for kids not to want to eat healthy food if they suddenly go from frozen chicken nuggets to something totally new, like quinoa. Instead, try transitioning slowly, replacing one food at a time. Here are some tips.

* Replace white flour with almond or coconut flour. You can do this in all sorts of ways – replace your pasta with brown rice pasta, for instance, and your bread with whole grain bread. Even better, start making your own bread instead of buying it at the store. Slowly replace nutrient stripped, overly processed grain items with whole grain options, from cereal to bread to crackers.

* Make your own fish and chicken nuggets from whole meat that’s been cut into bite-sized pieces. Coated in ground flax meal and baked in the oven, these healthy versions are just as tasty.

* Mix less healthy food with healthy food to make the transition easier. For instance, begin by replacing 1/3 or so of white rice with brown or wild rice. Then gradually increase the brown rice.

Read Books

Read books on healthy eating, and about how the body needs healthy food to grow. There are books available for just about any age on this subject, and many kids find it quite inspiring once they understand how their body works. Take a little time to teach your kids why we need healthy food.

Grow a Garden

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When kids get to plant a seed, water it, and watch it grow, they witness a miracle of life. Let them pick the weeks, feed it some fertilizer (organic of course), harvest it and find some recipes together.

Food Is Positive

Try approaching food in a positive way. Have your kids help in the kitchen if you can; when they “own” a food or dish they may be more likely to eat it. As you work in the kitchen, talk to your kids about the important nutrients within the foods you’re preparing. To keep things positive, it may not be a good idea to get into a big battle – try to keep it upbeat and, if you can, remove “dessert” from the premises!

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Just so you know, I am a terrible photographer. My son, David, got the photography gene that must skip a generation.

Breakfast Recipes: Healthy Pancakes  – Egg Cups –  Overnight Oatmeal – Smoothie

Snacks: Energy BallsChia Pudding – Fruit Kabob – Greek Yogurt 

Packed Lunch Ideas: Chicken Fajita Bowls – Taco Salad – Lettuce Rollups

Dinner – Serve them what you are having. Please don’t make the same mistake I did and make something special. Always include a salad and cooked vegetable so they get used to a wide variety

 

 

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