As parents, one of the biggest concerns we have, is ensuring that our children are healthy and thriving. This is only made more difficult by how hard it is to reason with your children. As an adult, you know the value in eating your vegetables, but it’s hard to help your child understand the importance of a balanced diet. So, how do you ensure that your child is getting all of the nutrients that they need?
Involve them in cooking
Getting involved with cooking will help motivate your child to eat the meal you prepared together. There’s something about them seeing what’s really going into the meal that makes the experience more fun for them. In addition to this, it gives them a healthy bit of pride over the things that they’ve created with you, and they should be excited to eat it! Make sure to use age appropriate tasks for your child, such as stirring or cutting veggies with a dull knife.
Make their meals fun
You’ve probably seen plenty of pictures on pinterest and instagram of the elaborate meals some moms will make for their kids, and you’ve probably rolled your eyes as you scrolled past them. But there is something to be said for meals that look fun to eat. It is more appealing to your child. And it doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of time to prepare. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of their sandwich, make faces out of their vegetables, and have fun! If it looks fun, your child is more likely to try it.
Don’t stress about it too much
Stressing about your child’s nutrition isn’t necessary, because at the end of the day, as long as you offer healthy options for your child every day, they will be getting the nutrients into their body that they need. I know this seems impossible, but putting stress on your child to eat “healthy” foods will only complicate their relationship with food and eating.
When all else fails, sneak veggies into their food
If you’re really stressed about your child eating enough vegetables and whole foods, you can sneak vegetables into their food. Pureed vegetables can be added to sauces and batters easily, and without detection. If your child will drink a smoothie, this is another way to sneak extra nutrients into their diet!