What is it about chips, pizzas and burgers that seems to draw kids like magnets and what is it about broccoli and celery that seems to repel them? This is something that most parents complain about: kids seem perfectly willing to eat artery clogging, nutritionally useless things but baulk at anything remotely healthy.
Here are some tips that may help your kids develop taste for healthy foods.
Pack an interesting school lunch
Involve the child in this because the last thing you want for your child is to take to school a lunch that is deemed “uncool”.
Garner her input into what you should pack, you may find that you get some good ideas from what she tells you about other school lunches.
Pack healthy, but don’t be obsessive. It is still OK to pack something that you may deem unhealthy; it could help make the other more nutritious items go down if there is the promise of sweet later.
A habit of healthy eating set this way will help to carry over on to other eating as well.
Let the child get used to trying out new stuff
Introduce something healthy as something interesting and new but don’t make too much of a production of it; it may get the child suspicious. Rather try and taste it yourself and appreciate it without going overboard. Very profuse praise may again raise suspicions. And be prepared for rejection; while some new and healthy stuff may be accepted, other things may be rejected.
Explain health giving qualities in terms that a child can understand
It’s no use telling a child that chips are full of artery clogging fats or that cookies are packed with sugar that is nothing but empty calories. Cholesterol trouble and future heart disease will make little sense to a child.
If however you tell them that broccoli is like spinach that gives Popeye his strength, or if you can explain to a child how eating more fruit will help him or her stay away from the doctor’s office, this is something that a child can connect with.
If you tell them that eating healthy cuts of meat (good quality protein) will help them get into a sports team, then this may make sense.
Take it easy
And finally keep your sanity. Don’t despair; don’t let it get you down when your child rejects seemingly every healthy food. Be consistent and don’t let your child’s iron will wear down yours. Your child’s good health is worth some effort and persistence.