May 31, 2020

5 ways to improve your kids’ eating habits

Are you tired of battling with your kids about eating healthier food? I get it. Being a parent is hard – and getting your little one to eat their fruit and veg is an uphill battle.

Having coached parents and going through the ups and downs myself, here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

1. Get them involved in food decisions

Kids can take an active role in every aspect of food planning and prep. From picking out fresh produce at a local farmers market, to cleaning and peeling the veg or timekeeping. Involving them in every step will make them more vested in the result and give them a sense of achievement.

2. Get tech-savvy

If your kid is over the age of 10, chances are they have a mobile phone, ipad or tablet, or at least know how to use them. Technology can be a blessing and a curse. Apps have opened up a huge opportunity for parents to educate their kids about nutrition. Here are some to try: Healthy Heroes 1 & 2, Eat and Move-O-Matic and Smash Your Food.

Depending on their age, some kids may have a social media account. Encourage them to take pictures of the healthy meals they make and share them with their friends!

3. Grow your own

Growing produce in your garden is a fun way to get kids involved and excited about healthy food.  If you live in the city, an alternative could be growing herbs in a window box. Talk to your kids about what they are planting and explain how they can be used in lots of interesting and tasty recipes.

4. Get messy

Turning cooking into a fun activity is a sure-fire way to boost a child’s interest in everyday foods – and don’t be afraid to get messy! Try blending fruits and vegetables into a nutritious smoothie. Make some real fruit popsicles or turn everyday mundane dishes such as sandwiches or pieces of fruit into an animal or superhero!

5. Be a good role model

We all know that kids are impressionable. Setting a good example with your own eating habits is important if you want your kids to eat healthier. Stick to a meal schedule and eat the same foods together as a family. Choose one dish instead of offering unhealthy alternatives and pair familiar with less familiar foods.

Above all else – stick with it! Studies indicate that it can take 10-15 attempts for a child to accept a new food. Try not to apply too much pressure and create an environment in which your child feels comfortable with the feeding process.

 

This blog post was written by Tamsin Jordan. Tamsin is a Registered Dietitian, wellness expert and mom living in NYC.  She provides one to one nutritional counselling to people of all ages, with a specialty in women’s health, bariatrics, diabetes and digestive health. She writes about a range of nutrition and wellness topics on her blog:  www.tamsinjordan.com, or you can find her on Instagram: @nutritionbytamsin