How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy

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There is probably not a parent alive who doesn’t wonder how you are supposed to get your kids to eat healthy. But it may not be as difficult as you think. We will examine several tips and considerations to guide you in your efforts to get your kids to eat healthy.

How You Define “Healthy”

For most people, defining healthy eating is simple; but if your definition is over the top, it can dampen your child’s enthusiasm for eating and complicate your mission to get your kids to eat healthy. Most adults consider vegetables, fruits and all kinds of food that many kids naturally dislike to be “healthy food”; but that is a highly limiting definition. Though we are certainly advocates for kids eating healthy, there are a lot of other options for healthy eating. To understand what we mean by this, we will now review an alternative approach to healthy eating for kids.

Balance versus Deprivation and Replacement

When you deprive a child of something that he or she likes in the name of health, you aren’t inspiring any love for vegetables. Instead, try teaching balance: You will find that you catch more flies with honey than by leaving a bad taste in your child’s mouth with the vinegar of veggie threats!

To clarify, your kids should not be eating foods with high-fructose corn syrup or heavy artificial colors and sweeteners such as aspartame. However, you can pursue alternatives like making a homemade version of what you would normally buy at the grocery store. On top of that, you can encourage your kids to assist you. For example, one all-time kid favorite is mac and cheese, which is also a simple food to prepare at home with the kids. Enlisting the kids’ help in the kitchen can help you to expand their little palates at the same time.

Healthy eating, perhaps especially for kids, is an exercise in balance. They are in the process of forming opinions about what they like and how adventurous they will be with their eating habits. If you encourage them to explore and your children grow accustomed to a variety of foods, then even a five-year-old will enjoy meals that are both nutritious and fun and your kids will be better able to make healthy, balanced choices as they grow older. So, next time you are looking for a healthy dinner, take the kids grocery shopping and allow them to choose what healthy but fun dish you will make together--and watch their enthusiasm grow!