Three cheers for cauliflower! Pass the spinach, please! Sound familiar? We wish. It isn’t easy getting kids to gobble up greens, veggies and other healthy foods. But there are some things parents can do to encourage good eating habits and to get kids excited about nutrition while they’re young.
Sneak in healthy snacks
When snack time rolls around, kids are usually pretty hungry. Chances are they won’t refuse healthier options when they’re presented between meals. Serve crunchy kale chips or roasted seaweed snacks, or for something sweet, offer dried mango chunks or squeezable applesauce pouches.
Let kids do the “cooking”
Engaging kids with hands-on activities is a great way to stimulate their senses and get them interested in different types of food. Kid-friendly recipes like ants on a log are easy to make and a fun way to introduce new ingredients. For picky eaters, let kids combine ingredients they already like with a few new ones. For example, make a salad with spinach and baby carrots, then have your child sprinkle on Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies so the bunnies and your child can munch on the veggies together!
Perk up the presentation
How food is arranged on a plate can make a big difference in what kids are willing to try. Smear an apple slice with peanut butter and make eyes and a big smile out of raisins. Create characters with or spell out words from brightly colored fruits and veggies. Click here for some cool food art project ideas that little ones can participate in too!
Grow your own
If you’re able to grow a garden, get digging! Knowing where food comes from—and helping to make it grow—makes it much more exciting to eat. You can also start small with a simple exercise, like sprouting an avocado pit. First, eat an avocado to show your child how it tastes. Then, explain that when the pit is sprouted and planted, it will become a tree that makes more avocados.
What kid doesn’t like cool videos, music, funny jokes and neat facts? Sneak in information about fruits and veggies, and you’re not only entertaining, you’re also teaching!.That’s the idea behind Vitamin Bee, a fun character who aims to get kids interested in healthy eating. For episodes, games and fun, visit VitaminBee.TV.