Helping kids get interested in nutrition

One of the best things you can do for your children is to teach them to eat in a nutritious, healthy way. Unfortunately, kids today face a lot of temptations every day, so it can be difficult to get them to make healthy choices. Here are some great ways to encourage your children to practice good nutrition.

1. Find healthy foods that your children like. This can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can find healthy food that your kids like, you are ahead of the game. Children tend to really like fruit, so you can start with that. You can also make sure that you offer them the healthy food they like as often as possible.

2. Make old favorites with healthy foods. If you are making lasagna, for example, incorporate some spinach. If you are making an omelet, throw in a few green peppers. You might find that your children don’t make a fuss about the healthy food there, because there is still yummy food that they are used to.

3. Get your children to find new kinds of foods. Every week, expose them to a different vegetable. Experiment with squashes, peppers, pumpkins and other kinds of foods they may not be used to eating. They might like squash better than lima beans, and you can feed them really nutritious foods that they really like. You might learn something new as well.

4. Keep healthy snacks around. Always have fruits and vegetables on hand. Have peanut butter ready for celery, and have some cheese available to eat with grapes. Make it as easy as possible for your children to have a healthy snack as it is for them to reach for the unhealthy stuff.

5. Let your children help you plan the family’s meals. When children are involved, they tend to make smart choices for everyone. Let them decide what vegetable you will eat, and teach them how to determine what a lean meat is and how you should serve a meal. They will learn and you will be there to correct them if need be.

6. Make mealtime a bonding time for everyone in your family. Make sure you all sit down together, and that you are not distracted by TV, phones or the internet. Talk about your day. Tell stories. Enjoy each other’s company. Make meals enjoyable, so that your kids associate nutritious meals with your happy family.

7. Eat in a healthy way yourself. You may think it is okay to cheat and have a secret stash of cookies in your bedroom drawer, but think about it. How can you expect your child to eat in a nutritious and healthy way if you can’t do it, and you’re an adult!

Eating well is a legacy that can be passed down through the generations, and it can start with you. Your children will do as you teach them, so get them ready for their own adulthood by showing them how to practice good nutrition while they are young.