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22 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

Getting your children to eat healthy can be challenging at the best of times.

1. Make the most of the meals you eat together: It is very common for busy families to eat separately. Family members may eat on the run, eat at different times, or skip meals altogether. When everyone does eat together, make the most of the opportunity by providing healthy, well-balanced meals.

2. Start with soup: Give everyone a serving of soup before the main meal. Bean soup or tomato bisque is a great way to start things off.

3. If not soup, salad: Salads are a perfect way to get lots of fiber, fruits, vegetables and nuts into everyone's diets. They are a healthy way to fill up.

4. Go fish: Instead of fatty red meat, serve fish. Tuna, trout, salmon and tilapia are low in saturated fat. Plus the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are an essential nutrient that many people are missing in their diet.

5. Remember the vegetables: Instead of potatoes, serve vegetables as a side dish. Broccoli and carrots are perfect.

6. Serve fruit for dessert: Skip the sugary desserts. Serve fresh berries and fruits after dinner.

7. Oatmeal for breakfast: Far too many kids skip breakfast. Hot oatmeal and oat cereal is simple to prepare and very healthy. Skip the sugary cereals.

8. Hide the cookie jar: Get rid of the cookies and keep a bowl of fruit on the counter. Apples, oranges, and bananas make great, easy-to-grab snacks.

9. Pack healthy lunches: Avoid letting your kids eat at the school cafeteria, where you don't know what they will be eating. You can make any sandwich healthier by adding lettuce, tomato, or even avocado. Pack carrot sticks instead of chips. Leave the soda in the grocery store and buy apple or orange juice instead.

10. Healthy snacks: Kids are always hungry when they come home from school. Plan ahead and keep a can of almonds or other unsalted nuts within easy reach.

11. Stop buying soda: Sugary soft drinks are horrible for children. Don't let them start a bad habit. Give them fruit juice instead. Juice naturally has a lot of sugar. You can dilute it with fresh spring water if you prefer. If you want to give them a treat, let them make their own soda by mixing sparkling water with fruit juice.

12. Pack a travel kit: When driving long distances, it is far too easy to pick up unhealthy snacks along the way. Plan ahead and pack a cooler full of crisp vegetables and dips. Bring granola mixes and nuts and seeds. When you are staying at a hotel, find a grocery store and stock up on healthy food for your stay.

13. Ease into a healthy diet gradually: Making a radical change in the foods you serve is asking for failure. Make changes slowly, and introduce one healthy food at a time. Once your kids have gotten used to one change, introduce another.

14. Start with carrots: Uncooked carrots are a little sweeter than green vegetables. You may have more luck getting your children to eat them while getting used to the taste of vegetables.

15. Be patient: The key to dealing with a picky eater is repetition. It may take several servings before kids get used to a new food. When introducing a new food, give your children a small serving. If they don't like it, don't yell or threaten. Just encourage them to taste it the first time. Keep giving them the food regularly until they get used to it. Be patient and stick to your game plan.

16. Encourage your kids to help: Kids will generally eat whatever they make themselves. Get them to help you make the occasional meal or snack. It can be fun for both of you.

17. Avoid snacks before meals: Children are more likely to eat something new if they are hungry. Don't let them fill up before dinner when you are planning on introducing something new.

18. Don't use dessert as a reward: Don't take away dessert as a punishment and don't offer it as a reward for trying new food. This sets the wrong message.

19: Turn the t.v. off: Picky eaters are easily distracted from their food. Keep the television off during meals. Don't let your children play with toys or books at the table.

20. Condiments: Give your child a large choice of condiments. Let them add ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or other condiments to their food, as long as they eat it.

21. Top your food: Until your children get used to a new vegetable or food, you may have to prepare it in an unhealthy fashion. Topping healthy food in unhealthy cheese or sweet and sour sauce is a good way to introduce new foods. You can gradually cut back on the unhealthy toppings once they get used to the food.

22: Hide the goodness: You can hide new foods by combining it with other ingredients. For example, you can mix cooked broccoli or carrots in macaroni and cheese. Mix spinach leaves with regular lettuce. Sneak vegetables onto pizza.

Following these tips can help you transition your children to a more healthy diet.

Chris has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in diet, fitness and weight loss, he also helps his friends publish websites related to the subject. You can also check out her latest website on weight loss smoothies which gives great advice and recipes for smoothies for weight loss. Visit

Source: EzineArticles
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