At some point during parenthood, everyone struggles with feeding their children the right foods. Is it green enough? Does it have the right vitamins? Will it help support their immune system?
Picking the right foods alone is a hard job, but what do you do when your kids won’t even touch the healthy stuff on their plates? Here are six tips from Nutrilite senior research scientist, Holiday Zanetti, who is a mom with a Ph.D. in nutrition.
1) Try new things
Don’t be afraid to try new things and expose your kids to the vast world of nutritious foods. Who knows what your kids might like? Maybe you grew up hating Brussels sprouts and green beans, but there is a chance your little ones might love them.
Holiday said expanding their exposure to diverse foods will only help them find more stuff they like. A good way to introduce new foods is by putting food they have not tried next to foods that are tried and true. Placing the new offering alongside their favorite meal may make them feel more comfortable trying something for the first time.
2) Lead by example
Monkey see, monkey do. Kids learn so much from their parents, including talking, walking, reading, writing and more. Along with all the other traits and habits kids pick up from family members, Holiday said children also mimic loved ones’ eating habits.
You don’t have to drop your fun and easy family meals like pizza Fridays or donuts for breakfast on Sundays. Just make sure you balance those out on other days with more vegetables and fruits so that your children can get used to nutritious food.
3) Play with your food
Holiday urges parents to bring imagination into eating to avoid making it boring. She said society has outgrown the “Don’t play with your food” mindset and evolved into an era where using your other senses while you eat is more fun and accepted.
Pretend your heads of broccoli are small trees. Arrange your food into faces. Use your hands to mix and have a food eating contest with your children. These are all fun ways you can get your kids excited about eating healthier foods.
4) Disguise foods they don’t like
By far the easiest thing you can do as a parent, Holiday said, is sneaking something your child hasn’t tried into something they love. There is a good chance that in the heat of the moment, your kids won’t even know what they are eating.
For example, cauliflower is rich in nutrients and has a taste that can easily be incorporated into your meals. Examples of fun meals with cauliflower are garlic cauliflower mash (tastes like mashed potatoes) or cauliflower “fried rice.”
5) Cook with your kids
Lastly, introduce your kids to the fun of cooking. They might turn out to be a huge help in the kitchen. Letting them mix the salad, pour the oil or peel the corn are all fun ways to let your kids get hands on with their food.
Incorporating your kids into the process of making their meal will help them connect with their food and make them more inclined to eat it. Plus, cooking skills will benefit them throughout life.
6) Nutritional supplements
If you are worried about your kids not getting the right vitamins and minerals, consider incorporating supplements specifically formulated for children into their daily routine.
Nutrilite supplements offer a range of products for kids that make it fun for them to get their daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals, including gummies, fast-melt powders and jelly splats. Kids aren’t always going to be easy to feed, so these supplements make it easy for parents to fill any gaps in their child’s daily nutrition.
Between supplements and a few sneaky veggie tricks, rest assured your picky eater will be getting all the good nutrition they need. For more tips on healthy living, visit www.amwayconnections.com.