5 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Healthy Food

All children are different when it comes to what they’ll eat. The trick is getting some healthy food into them. My three kids have varying food likes and dislikes. My eldest loves fruit, my youngest will try anything at least once and my middle child is very fussy. She will not eat fruit or vegetables, unless blended into a juice or smoothie, and if she had the chance would only eat bread, cheese and anything with chocolate in it.

Despite their varying food choices we try and keep them informed about healthy food and figure the more they know, about where their food comes from and how it impacts on their body, the better their attitude to food will be in the long run.

Here are five tips to teach your kids about healthy food:

1 – Lead by example

This might sound simple, but it’s not always the case. How often do your kids see you skipping meals or grabbing a chocolate bar for sustenance? Do you drink a lot of coffee or keep your fridge stocked with more beer than fresh vegetables? Telling your kids that food rules are different for adults is ok, but can also be confusing for them. By eating balanced meals and choosing healthy options it will help your children to develop better eating habits.

2 – Grow the food

Even with a small garden, or no garden, you can grow fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. By involving your children in the whole process, from planting the seeds to picking the produce, it might encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables. It will also show them how easy, cheap and environmentally friendly it is to grow your own food. And most importantly, it’s a fun thing to do with your kids.

3 – Try different food

Going out to eat is a fabulous way to encourage your kids to try new food. And if they won’t give the food a go, at least they get to see different meals. Exposing your kids to more than just sausages and nuggets will give them a wider appreciation of other cultures and food options like curry, stir fry and sushi. You’ll be surprised what takes their fancy and it’s such a delight to watch your children’s food tastes broaden. Healthy doesn’t need to be boring.

4 – Take them shopping

It’s not always the easiest thing taking your kids shopping, but when you do, get them involved in the whole process. Start with a menu plan and then ask them to look in the fridge and cupboards to see if you have all the ingredients. Once at the supermarket they can help find everything you’re looking for. They might not eat tofu or eggplant, but at least they’ll know what it looks like.

5 – Get them cooking

Encouraging your kids to cook and helping them to develop vital life skills, will increase their love of food. Sometimes kids don’t eat certain things because they are fearful of a range of factors, including colour, texture and taste, so by involving them in the preparation it helps to break down some of their uncertainties. It may also entice them to try something if they’ve cooked it themselves.

Food should be fun and making it an adventure helps to demystify it. And by making it more accessible may also make it more appealing, particularly for fussy eaters. Anything you can do to involve your children in mealtimes, whether it’s cooking the food, growing the food or shopping for the food, will ultimately help them make healthier choices in the long run. And healthy food will make for happier kids.

 Have you got any tips to get your kids eating healthier food?