Ten Tips To Help Children Eat Healthy

  1. Set a good example. If you skip breakfast they will.
  2.  Breakfast improves child’s concentration and less likely to snack on unhealthy foods
  3. Slow down.  Don’t rush a meal. When introducing new foods put it in a bowl on table and let help themselves, e.g. sweet potato puree, say that you spotted them while shopping and thought you all might like to taste. (Don’t put on child’s plate as may cause confrontation)
  4. Try and try again. If the child does not like a certain food, wait a while and try again. Compliment for tasting food. It has been scientifically proved that in most cases if we try a food several times we eventually develop a taste for it. We must also accept there are some foods they do not like-ever.
  5. Think fruit and veg.  Introduce as they appear in season, show them to the kids and explain why it is important to eat them. If the children wont eat cooked, try raw in salads. If it’s a real issue to get them to eat you may have to sneak them into food. Add pureed veg to pasta sauces, soups or stews or a banana into a smoothie. Think of colour when eating as a wide range of colours ensures a varied diet. Think smarties or jelly beans and you see that not only kids like to eat colourful, so try this with meals
  6. Get label smart. Starting reading labels on all food products. When children are old enough and get them involved. Make a game out of it. Bear in mind that a “low fat” product might be packed with sugar. Try to avoid foods with lists the length of your arm-this generally means they are full of additives.
  7. Little chefs. Encourage children to help in the kitchen. Start with simple dishes like pitta bread pizza. Let them help with picking of topping and let them help you shop for it. Letting children create dishes gives the confidence, encourages to try new foods, shows them cooking is fun and sparks an interest in healthy eating.
  8. Have a box of delights. Limit sweets etc but don’t ban, as they then become forbidden fruit and even more desirable. Have a healthy treat box with plain popcorn, dried fruit and rice cakes
  9. Family mealtimes. Make mealtimes relaxed and try to eat meals together at the table and not in front of television. It is better for their digestion and you can discuss meals together.
  10. Don’t panic. Its not a disaster if they refuse to eat certain things, there are plenty of other foods to replace what they don’t eat.