If you are like most parents or guardian, you are constantly looking for ways to get your young ones to eat their fruits and vegetables . This can seem like a very daunting task most days. It is important to know that there are ways you can turn this frustration around completely or at worse get your child to a point where they are getting just enough of the needed daily amounts. The following are some crucial steps to turn your child into the fruits and Vegetables lover you have always wanted them to be.
1. Start early
Ever thought your baby was too young to start eating their fruits or vegetables? It is important for your long term goal to start incorporating fruits and vegetables as soon as your child start to eat solids. Whether you make your own baby food or buy a premade one, the key is making it age appropriate and incorporating variety of fruitsband vegetables. This is essential to getting them adapted to different flavors and tastes of fruits and vegetables.
2. Don’t t scare them them into eating their fruits and vegetables.
The number one mistake you can make in your attempt to get them to eating their fruits and vegetables is to scare them.
Saying things like if you don’t eat it, you will go on a time out, you will be in trouble or you will not have fun etc., will only get them to hate eating their fruits and vegetables even more and worse make them avoid it for life.
3. Get them involved
Getting your child to participate in the shopping and making choices about what fruits and vegetables they like the most is a great way to motivate them to eat it. You can also go further by allowing them to get involved in the preparation of the food. Praise their efforts and let them know you are excited about eating the food because of their input. Encourage them to eat it at the table with the whole family.
4. Play with their soft spot
If your child is like most kids, they like to be praised and appreciated. Use this to your advantage enforce positive and good eating behavior.
Your son loves to feel like a super hero. Let him know he can get that super hero power by eating Healthy and getting all the necessary nutrients a superhero needs to beat the villains.Your girl loves to have pretty bows in her hair? Point to her what nutrients she needs to maintain that beautiful hair of hers. Okay you get the point. Make it practical for them. Not only is this important for the short term, it is valuable for the long term as well and is especially effective for your younger ones; toddlers to kids under 8 years old.
5. Take a trip to the farm
Go fruits tasting at a farm or farmers market. Let them taste a variety of fruits. Check local farms where your family can go and pick fresh fruits. They will love the adventure. Let them choose what to take home at the end of the trip. The importance of these activities is to get them to cultivate a lasting relationship and appreciation for healthy eating. You can make this into a annual/seasonal family tradition until they grow to an age where they can make such decisions independently.
6. Build nutrient boards/charts
Get the kids involved in building a nutrients benefit board or chart and mapping out which fruits and vegetables and needed to give those nutrients.
Emphasize on the benefits they get from the different fruits and vegetables.
7.Consistency is the key
After many failed attempts and no successes, it can seem like a daunting task and a lost cause. But just like anything else failure and setbacks are the more reason why you should never give up. Always include vegetables and fruits on the plate. Keep encouraging them to eat. Reward attempts and don’t force them finish every piece of their servings.
8.Don’t make it boring. Just as you get bored with eating the same food all the time, so do your kids. Jazz it up a little. Add some real fruits into their yoghurt and freeze. Add some mushrooms or broccoli into their Alfredo pasta. Healthy eating does not equal boring eating.
9.Balance is the key. Just as not adding fruits and vegetables is bad for you and your kid, so is throwing mostly fruits and vegetable onto their plates all the time also not healthy. Healthy encompasses adding foods from all the food groups to have complete and healthy diet.
10. Peer modeling
Have play dates with other kids who love to eat their vegetables. Kids love to imitate other kids. By seeing others who do love to eat their vegetables, they can be encouraged to eat theirs. Set a play date or picnic, pack some healthy vegetables and fruits and head outdoors with another family. You could get into a little game by rewarding anyone that eats theirs. Let the parents participate in the challenge.
11. Avoid crucial mistakes
Avoid making healthy eating a means to get your child to loose weight. As sad as that may sound, you will be surprised to see some parents fall into this sort of trap. Pushing your child to eat healthy because they are not ‘skinny’ can only hurt your own goal of getting them to eat healthy. Just as there is something called stress eating in adults, the same can be found in children. Not only will this cause them to eat indiscriminately but it can cause them to hide what they are eating from you defeating your whole purpose.
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