Picky Eaters: 10 Tricks to Make Your Kids Eat Healthy
Kids love pizza, pasta or French fries. But vegetables and fruits are mostly at the bottom on the popularity scale. But a few simple tricks can help you out of the situation and convert your picky eaters to vegetable and fruit lovers.
Tip 1: Hunger is the Best Cook
If you start the dish with salad, vegetables or fruits, it will be easier to make your children eat the vitamin suppliers while finishing the main dish. When kids are hungry they are more likely to try out new things or to eat what they usually don’t prefer.
Tip 2: Cheating
Sneak the vegetables and fruits in all sorts of dishes to get your kids used to the taste of fruits and vegetables. Mix finely grated carrots and celery in minced meat, casseroles and gratins. You can add various vegetables to sauces of stews, goulash or baked pies or muffins with pumpkin, apples, quinces and pears.
Tip 3: Leave it Raw and Use your Creativity
Raw vegetables and fruits usually arouse more curiosity than cooked ones. Animate your children to taste raw vegetables and fruits. And if they love treats, why not replace the gummy bears with dried fruits like mango?
And it is always a good idea to decorate the fruits in a funny way. You can make a flute out of a carrot or carve a face in the apple.
Tip 4: Be a Role Model
Only if you eat healthy food and your kids see that you enjoy it, you will be able to inspire your children about it. So, next time when you give your kids a carrot, take one as well. The children feel so less excluded.
Tip 5: Be Patient
The kids might need to get used to a new taste – especially if it is bitter. So if your picky eaters don’t like a vegetable, don’t stop serving it. The next time, just do in a different texture or with other spices, side dishes or sauces – but do not give up. You will see that your kids will enjoy it sooner or later.
Tip 6: Let Your Child Decide
Take your kids with you when you run errands. Let them decide which vegetable and fruits come in the cart.
Since your children were able to choose the healthy ones, they will be more likely to try or to eat it, then they feel more integrated.
Tip 7: Start During Pregnancy
Give your children fresh foods as early as possible, better already when you are pregnant. Did you know that babies already taste the food during pregnancy or during breast-feeding? The babies drink the amniotic fluid or the mother’s milk and this tastes different – depending on the food the mother eats.
Start to give your child fresh healthy food by the age of 6 months because babies start to develop the sense of taste by that age.
Tip 8: Let your Kids Become a Gardener
If you have a backyard, take the opportunity to let your children plant some vegetables and herbs. Vegetables from the supermarket are just half as exciting as home-grown carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs.
If you have an apple tree, fill the apples with nuts and marzipan and bake it in the oven. Your kids will love it! Or why not make a fruit smoothy with berries and fruits from the backyard?
Tip 9: TV to help
There are many TV shows which help your child to get curious about fruits and vegetables. “The Wiggles” are one example. This Australian group which produces kid’s songs will definitely make your child want to eat fruit salad. Just play the song “Fruit Salad” when you prepare this healthy desert together with your kids and follow what the lyrics say.
Just start to go more to the TV programme to find good shows – there are plenty of it.
Tip 10: The Golden Rule
To force your child to eat what is on the plate is especially not the right solution for picky eaters, because every child has its own taste. That’s why the first rule is to be patient. Try again and again! The second rule is not to force your child to eat but he should at least try. The third rule is that if your child doesn’t love the broccoli the tenth time you serve this vegetable, you should believe that he really doesn’t like it.