Getting your kids excited about their vegetables is no easy task, even if you’re armed with the best nutrition tips.

Many moms have become all too familiar with their children’s complaints about “boring” food along with their disdainful stares at their plates of salad.

But this doesn’t have to be the norm. While you shouldn’t expect to overhaul your family’s diet overnight, you can raise your children to develop nutritious eating habits through these practical tips. Check ’em out.

1.Get your kids involved.

Make visits to farmer’s markets a family affair.  Sidcor Market in Quezon City,  AANI Organic Market in Taguig, and Salcedo & Legazpi Markets in Makati are open on most weekends and can be a great avenue to discover healthy eating. Good Food Sundays is relaunching next month too. These markets are a great way to introduce healthy food options and locally grown organic produce. Your child can actually learn where their food comes from, which may develop a greater sense of appreciation for food. If these markets aren’t an option for you, simply take you kids along to the supermarket.

2. Allow your kids to explore

Children love to explore. New tastes and textures are crucial to their development, so try preparing the foods a different way or perhaps find vegetables that maybe you’ve never tried. Avoid not giving your kids veggies that you personally do not appreciate, since everyone has their own tastes and preferences while being mindful of their age.

 

3. Bring them into the kitchen

Bring your kids into the kitchen on days when there aren’t any time constraints to meal preparation. Cooking with your children helps them appreciate the meal preparation process (which often results in less picky eating) even if they’re involved in simple tasks like stirring batter or washing veggies.

healthy kids

 

3. Make smart substitutes

Simple substitutes go a long way. It can allow you to put a healthy spin on a popular family dish. Or simply switching an ingredient can make all the difference.  Switching to yoghurt from mayonaise in salads. Use coconut oil instead of butter for baked goods. Avoid artificial sweeteners, instead use natural alternatives to sugar such as muscovado or honey. With the right amount of substitutions, your kids can appreciate and discover that eating healthy can be delicious.

4. Keep healthy snacks easily accessible.

Keep vegetables pre-washed, cut up easily and readily available in the refrigerator. For instance, cut up carrots, and celery, and have a fat-free or low-fat dip on hand.  That way, kids can just grab it as a snack easily. Don’t hide them in the bottom drawers where they are forgotten. Fruits and vegetables are nature’s fast food, so grab them and go.

Taking a bowl of strawberries out of a refrigerator

 

5. Lead by example

Practice what you preach! Kids tend to imitate. So, don’t expect them to munch on carrots if they see you binge-eating potato chips! You can even make fun chewing sounds whenever you eat your salad. This shows how much you enjoy eating your greens and could encourage them to at least give it a try. Who knows? They might like it.

Have your your loved ones recently transitioned to a healthier eating habit? Share your personal experience below!

How parents approach food and particularly, introduction of food, is very important. You have to think about both taste and texture.

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