Presenting your kids with new things is never an easy thing to do. Eating fresh foods can help if you introduce healthy eating habits to them. You are always curious about things that nobody has heard of before when you're a kid. This curiosity naturally makes children more willing to try out new things. Sometimes the best way to introduce a child to fresh food is by pairing it with a portion of food they regularly eat or like.
They are more likely to enjoy fresh food if they have access to this. Something that you probably want to avoid for your child is feeding them food that they don't like and then making them finish it. It will only make your child think that eating is to be avoided at all costs.
1. Expose your kids to a wide variety of vegetables
Kids are more likely to try new vegetables when they see them. Show them that vegetables can be anything. Shape, color, and texture are all part of the fun.
You can talk to your kids about how many different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in other parts of the world. Talk to them about the different types of new foods that they can eat.
2. Cook your vegetables in enticing ways
If you want your kids to try a new vegetable, cook it so that they are used to it. This way, they can ease into trying new foods without feeling too overwhelmed. There are many ways to make fresh fruits and vegetables interesting for kids if you know their preferences.
- If your kid is crazy about broccoli and likes to eat it with cheese, try cooking the vegetable with some cheese.
- You can also try adding a vegetable to their favorite dish.
- If they like eating a particular pasta, you can incorporate fresh veggies in it.
- You can also decorate a plate of veggies by arranging them in different colors and shapes and serve it to your child so they will be more encouraged to eat it.
Experiment with several recipes and get the kids to taste them. Discuss the recipes with them and ask their views. When the children try and like the meals, you can gradually reduce the meat portion and increase the vegetable portion.
3. Use their favorite food as a lure
Parents often use their kids' picky food habits to their advantage. You can pretend you are making something your child loves and then add some fresh fruit or vegetable out of nowhere. Let them try a small piece first, and if they like it, you can keep adding more. This way, they'll be much more willing to try new things when they know it's in there. Include foods with various colors and textures in a meal so that your kids get used to trying out fresh food with no stress.
4. Pick a new vegetable every week
You can do this to help your child overcome his picky nature regarding food. You can do something with the vegetable they dislike and then introduce a new one. Depending on the situation, this new one may be a big hit or a big miss. Be prepared to go over the same vegetables a couple of times and maybe even some repeats. It's all about keeping things interesting for your child.
5. Never treat your child like a miniature adult
Children eat whatever they like as long as they are given the right amount of food in the right shape and form. You can get them to try new foods by keeping things light and fun. A child's favorite food may not always be considered an excellent health meal. While you should never force something on your kids, there is no harm in playing with their preferences.
Having a fun atmosphere around food will encourage kids to eat without fuss. If you want to change their diet and make sure your kids are exposed to healthier options at mealtimes, the best thing to do is to keep it fun and lighthearted.
6. Give your child a choice
The best way to get your kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables is to give them a choice of what they want in their meals. It helps them feel more autonomous and essential. You can let them pick out some fresh food they want in their feed and then make it for them. You need to keep the discussion light and fun so the kids know that you're not forcing a new meal on them.
Neither should you let your kids plead, beg or even whine too much. When you allow the children to make changes in their meals, they are more likely to accept them. They will feel empowered because they have a choice in what goes into their meal, and that's the best way to get them ready for a healthy diet.
7. Get your kids involved in the cooking process
You can get them to eat healthier and make better meals by getting them involved in the cooking process. Some kids like to help when you're cooking. Since they enjoy the experience of preparing a meal, they don't feel excluded or forced to eat something new.
Show your kid how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and where they can get them locally. Packing healthy food into your child's lunchbox is just half the battle; you have to make sure they know better how to eat fresh foods.
8. Let your kids help prepare the meal
While it may feel unnatural to get children involved in the kitchen, it's still a good idea to get them to help out somehow. The best way to prepare your children for the inevitable day of designing their food is to engage them in the process. Cooking is a skill that they need to learn, and they can start with cutting vegetables or setting the table.
They are getting a lot of experience with preparing food, but they're also learning how chores go hand in hand. Let your kids take an active role in meal preparation by getting all of the ingredients they need and mixing them in the food processor. Let your child pour a little milk into the bowl and add some sugar so that they can be a part of the essential finishing touches.
Always involve your child with food and nutrition
It is the best way to get them to eat fresh fruits and vegetables more. It's a typical inclination for kids to stick with their parents. The natural tendency of young kids is to mimic their parents and try and behave in a way that they think is 'normal.' If a child sees their parents trying to eat healthily, they will feel encouraged to follow in the same way.
So, try and make your child see that healthy choices in food are a good choice. It is an excellent way for them to get used to getting involved with food and nutrition without feeling too overwhelmed. If you're always talking about nutritional aspects of food, eating fresh fruits or vegetables will not seem too out of place for them.
10. Make mealtime fun and exciting
Kids are susceptible to the environment around them. Whenever you make it a point to include fresh food in the kids' meals, you can quickly get them to participate. It's up to us as parents to make it exciting for them to eat healthy foods and make them excited about eating vegetables.
If you always have a sense of humor and keep things exciting, your kids will learn to appreciate the meal itself, not just the food. Think of some funny activities that will help them stay interested for more extended periods of time-like games or hand-clapping games.
Andrea is currently the head of content management at SpringHive Web Design Company, a digital agency that provides creative web design, social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool where she writes storytime themes, parenting tips, and seasonal activities to entertain children.