When it comes to getting your kids to eat healthy, you have a lot of competition to work against. Whether at school, a party, or even at the mall, you can bet that your children are bombarded with temptation in the form of junk food on a regular basis. Let’s face it – fruits and veggies are not usually a match for ice cream, pizza, and candy!
Who knows how much of the apple or how many carrot sticks from your little one’s lunchbox is really being eaten at school? And can you imagine the type of nutrition your kids get when they attend sleepovers at their friends’ house? These scenarios probably wouldn’t be an issue if you could get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies at home.
But there is no need to fight with your kids to get them eating healthy, at least at home. The following tips and tricks will have them tasting all the colors of the rainbow in no time:
Fill the Freezer Up
One of the best ways to get your kids to eat their fruits is to turn them into treats. All you need is your favorite produce and a freezer to make magic happen. Try one or more of these ideas:
- Peel and freeze bananas in plastic sealable bags, then blend them with other fruits or cocoa powder to create healthy “ice cream” on a whim.
- Freeze pitted dates to create “caramel” candy for the family to enjoy on a warm day.
- Freeze grapes and then blend them to create fun slushies to enjoy with the kids.
Blend Baby, Blend!
If you expect your kids to eat their fruits and veggies on a daily basis, you may as well turn the kitchen counter into the permanent home for your blender. Of course, fruit smoothies are sweet and tasty enough to attract the little ones as long as enough fruit is used in them. Other ways you can use your blender to slip more produce into your child’s diet includes:
- Mix beets, spinach, and carrots into marinara sauce.
- Blend creamy dairy-free soups made of avocados, greens, and coconuts.
Let your kids decide what goes in the blender when it’s time to make a morning smoothie or lunchtime dressing so they’re more inclined to try their creation. If you’re worried about the possible combinations they’ll choose, put a few things on the table for them to choose from.
Bust out the Dehydrator
Sometimes it takes more than freshly made meals to get your kids to enjoy their fair share of produce – busting out the dehydrator will help to fill in the gaps. You can make fruit leather simply by blending fresh fruit and a little water, and maybe some spices like cinnamon, and then dehydrating the mixture until it turns into leather (like a healthy Fruit-Roll-Up!).
And you can make chips out of kale by tearing the leaves into small pieces and tossing them with your favorite dressing (think ranch or Italian) and then dehydrating them until they are crispy. Make chewy treats by dehydrating whole fruits like cherries, berries, and bananas, or even dehydrated vegetables.
Take Your Kids With You and Let Them Choose
Take your kids to the store with you so they can pick out one or two fruits and veggies to take home and try later in the week. Offer up two or three different choices for dinner and let the kids choose what the family will eat. Allow your kids to choose how the veggies should be prepared for the evening meal – steamed, baked, or boiled? All of these choices will give your kids enough freedom to feel like they’re making all the right choices when it comes to food. This might also empower them to try new things, versus feel like someone’s making them eat their fruits and veggies.
At the end of the day, you can’t make all your children’s choices for them, but you certainly can steer them in the right direction with some loving, caring and clever tricks. Keeping communication open and making sure that they understand the importance of a well-balanced diet will help them navigate all the options as they grow up and live their lives. Also see How to Feed Vegan Kids, What Healthy Vegan Kids Eat, and Easy Tips for Feeding Vegan Kids.
Lead Image Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr
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