1. Hide the evidence
There is nothing more pleasing then watching my girls suck down a smoothie filled with greens. As they delight in the flavor and icy texture, I grin from ear to ear, knowing they are getting their vitamins and minerals for the day. I have found ways to mix berries, bananas and greens in a smoothie where the green taste is hidden amidst sweet fruit flavors. For tips on how to make the perfect green smoothie check out: Super Healthy Kids: How to Make a Green Smoothie.
2. Sauce it up
Kelley Bird co-owner of Grabba Green, a healthy fast-food establishment in Scottsdale, Arizona says simply, “kids like to dip.” Their menu includes proteins like chicken, tofu and steak on a skewer with fun sauces to dip them in such as; honey mustard, guacamole, and ginger-miso. When it comes to our home, my girls love hummus and vegetables. Ketchup is also a big hit with homemade fries and buffalo hot dogs. I stick to the organic brands without high fructose corn syrup so I don’t mind them indulging.
3. Make it visually fun and colorful
I will admit it, I’d much rather eat a meal that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye off fine china then a mashed up meal on a paper plate. Kids are the same way! I recently had my daughter’s birthday party at our home and wanted to offer healthy snacks before cupcake time. I searched Pinterest and found awesome displays of vegetables in the shape of a smiley face and a fruit tray that looked like a rainbow. Served with princess plates and fancy forks, the kids gobbled up the snacks like candy.
4. Give them A Chef Hat
Letting children help cook and make their own plate gives them added control over their meal. Taco night is a favorite at our home. I put all the fixings; lettuce, tomatoes, beans, meat, peppers, etc in little bowls. I give them a taco shell and let them go to town filling them. They actually put more vegetables in the tacos then they would normally eat just because they like to make it themselves. I have also found giving them kid knifes and forks allows them to feel independent, as if it’s their choice to eat and not because they are being forced to.
5. Be A Role Model
Remember in the early years, your kids are your shadow. They look up to everything you do including the food you eat. If they witness you enjoying a salad and making healthy snack choices, they will too. At young ages they want to please you and share in your meals. Let them try anything. Well almost anything. When it comes to my iced tea—ALL MINE J.
What are your tricks for getting kids to eat healthy?
Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T
Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.
Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.