Getting children to eat healthy has always been a battle for many parents. A healthy diet is particularly important for children because they grow at such a fast rate and have special nutritional requirements. By teaching your little one healthy eating habits you promote a healthy weight and proper growth and development. You also help them stick to healthier options when they begin choosing their own foods.

Are you often stuck in a situation where you have to convince your 5 year old that a banana tastes just as good as a candy bar?  Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. There are a few steps parents can follow to help make meal times less difficult and messy.

Next time you’re sitting at the dinner table with your family ready to dig in and notice your little one pushing her veggies aside refusing to eat them, consider the following:

Make meal time fun

Create fun interesting shapes with the vegetables. Use colorful vegetables to brighten up your little one’s plate and you won’t catch him/her pushing them to the side of the plate.

Get your little ones involved

Children love helping their parents, whether it be grocery shopping or in the kitchen. Take your children with you when you do your grocery shopping. Ask them to help you choose the ingredients for the next meal. Allow them to help you in the kitchen as well. They are more likely to eat a healthy meal they helped prepare.

Avoid foods that…

Avoid processed foods that contain white sugar, artificial colourants, white flour and artificial sweeteners. Your children’s immune system is weaker than yours and food containing artificial anything could weaken their bodies. Avoid junk food and try to stick to fruit and vegetables.

Lead by example

If your little ones see you laying in front of the television with a bag of chips and a box of chocolates they will slowly begin to ignore your healthy eating regime. Stay away from unhealthy food which includes junk food, gas, anything artificial and luxuries. Your little one will only take you serious if you are serious about healthy eating.

Image by Arvind Balaraman

 

 

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