Interesting Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Healthier

Jun 18 09:04 2012 Lawanna Brock Print This Article

Healthy eating is a lifestyle, not an occasional activity. Mothers worry constantly about what their children eat. Is it too fattening? Are there enough vitamins in it? Does it give him the energy he needs? Will he get sick if he doesn’t eat right? These are some of the questions mothers ask themselves about their children’s diets.

There are several things a mother can do to get kids to eat better. Instead of feeling guilty,Guest Posting learn about some of these little tricks that can ease your parenting responsibilities just a bit. You have plenty on your plate to deal with (pardon the pun), so relax and let us help you help your child eat healthier.

·         The earlier you begin this task, the better. When you introduce pureed foods around the age of six months, offer green vegetables first. Then progress on the orange and yellow ones. Always offer pureed meats before you offer fruits. When your baby becomes a child, offer fruit instead of candy, juice instead of soda, and meat instead of pasta.

·         Make decisions that please you both. Children will eat better if they feel they have picked the food. The trick here is to let him choose between two healthy foods. He is more likely to eat what he picks out.

·         Don’t give in to tantrums. If you are introducing healthy foods to a child who has been used to eating junk, expect turmoil. There will be crying and whining (mostly from you) but don’t give in. Stand your ground and insist that he eat the apple slices instead of the fudge.

·         Keep on a schedule. Children require food every four hours or so. Three meals a day, a couple of snacks, and plenty of fluids. If you offer food on a schedule, your child will not have drops in blood sugar and be racing to the frig for sugary sodas or to the cookie jar.

·         Introduce healthy new foods slowly. It is normal for your child to be skeptical of new things. Do not offer asparagus and cabbage at the same meal or even in the same day. Remind him that some of his favorite people eat spinach, like Popeye.

·         Plan your meals. Make sure what you are offering is well-balanced and not too carbohydrate rich. Each lunch and dinner meal should have protein and vegetables. Try to not feed your child the same foods over and over.

·         Don’t harp and nag. As hard as this may be for some mothers, try to remain neutral and supportive. If you persistently request to your child “eat your veggies”, he may resist even more.

·         Don’t be a short-order cook. This is where you fix different meals for everyone. This is too costly, too time-consuming, and too exhausting. No, not fair to mom (or dad, if he’s the cook). Fix one meal for everyone and don’t give in to the whining.

·         Sneak it in. Kids will eat spaghetti with tomatoes even though they won’t eat a raw tomato. They also will eat tomato based soup. You can hide vegetables and fruits in different ways, so just be creative.

·         Let ‘em dip it. Some children find that dipping vegetables is fun. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, apple slices, and other fruits and vegetable when dipped in cream cheese or ranch dressing become delightful.

More Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

Sometimes getting children to eat right and learn healthy food choices is a struggle for parents. The problem is the enticing fast-food restaurant commercials that target kids. Also, you have billboards, play equipment, music jingles that are catchy, and toys. All these things add to the nostalgia of eating out. Try to remember that studies on nutrition show that parents who consume healthy foods from the five basic food groups on a daily basis are mover likely to get their children to make better choices. This, in turn, will reduce the chances of developing obesity and many other health risks. Introducing foods from the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy) should be done at an early age but it is never to late to start eating healthier.

·         Get your kids involved. Even though they try your patience, you may find that letting them help out in the kitchen can be a good thing. By getting them involved, they are more interested in eating what they helped to create.

·         Cut down on junk food. The slang ‘junk food’ comes from the fact that these items are high on calories and low on nutrition. They make your kids gain weight while offering nothing in the way of substance. Don’t have them around.

·         Be a good role model. Our kids look up to you and will eat what you eat. If you have hamburgers and fries every day, they will want that too. Be honest about the food messages you are sending.

·         Allow treats occasionally. It is OK to let your child have candy and soda on occasion. Make it a special treat, not an everyday thing. Allow them to go out to McDonald’s once a month or so.

·         Make eating fun. Make smiley-faces on pancakes and give foods nicknames. For instance, broccoli is ‘little trees’ and spinach is ‘get-strong food’. Some children find it fun to create names for each thing they eat.

·         Breakfast is important. Sneak in whole-grain into pancake batter. Put applesauce in muffins. Choose Raisin Bran cereal over Fruit Loops. Add fruit to their cereal. Bacon, eggs, sausage, and ham are always good breakfast choices.

·         Avoid extreme measure. Eliminating all treats and pleasures from your child’s diet is extreme. It is fine for him to eat an ice-cream sundae (think protein) or have popcorn (think fiber). Knowledge is the key to deciding what treats are completely empty and what treats are fine.

·         Don’t be ridiculous. Try to remember that other kids eat off the kids’ menu at restaurants and they have turned out just fine. Healthy eating does not mean cutting all cheese sandwiches and pizza out altogether. After all, he is only a kid once.

·         Praise healthy food choices. When your child picks a food to eat that is healthy, give him praise. Tell him you are so proud that he is becoming a big boy and eating right. Your children are always out for your approval, after all.

·         Don’t use food as a reward. Try not to use cookies and candies as rewards. Let them be occasional treats, instead. Reward your child with something fun, like a trip to the park or arcade.


Burns, J. (2011). Fifteen ways to get kids to eat better. Retrieved from:

Neilsen, B. (2011). Huffpost Living. Five ways to get your kids eating healthfully. Retrieved from:

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Lawanna Brock
Lawanna Brock

Lawanna Brock is a professional health and medical writer and a certified member of the American Medical Writers Association.

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