If there is one thing which all children around the world collectively enjoy – it’s fast food. Of course, it goes without saying that if there is one thing which all children around the world collectively dislike – it would be healthy food!
So what are parents to do when it comes time to introduce their children to a healthier, just potentially not as tasty alternative? This post has some answers which can help.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Do you remember the story about the Hare and the Tortoise? The Hare rushed to finish the race and ended up losing to the slower Tortoise. The approach of the Tortoise is one which you can adopt.
Imagine for a minute that yesterday you ate the most delicious meal for dinner. It was so full of flavor that you can still taste it, today.
Now, imagine that tonight you are served with a plate of steamed vegetables, grilled sauceless chicken, and plain white rice.
Not an ideal thought, is it? However, this is often the method taken by most parents which trying to introduce their child to healthier food options. As you can imagine, this method isn’t very successful.
Instead, plan out your monthly meals and look for places where you can make small adjustments, such as swapping out one item for a vegetable, swapping a sauce for a salt-reduced alternative, or even serving delicious fresh fruit alongside ice cream for dessert.
The trick is to introduce healthy items slowly, and remove unhealthy items even slower!
Eating Healthy Food Isn’t Fun
While it’s a negative sentiment to have, unfortunately, it’s often true when it comes to children. However, this doesn’t mean that their perception can’t be changed.
- If they enjoy eating at places like McDonald’s, take them and choose healthier menu items.
- If you and your family are going out for dinner, ask everybody to choose at least one healthy item.
By showing your kids that eating healthy and enjoying themselves at a restaurant or fast-food chain can be enjoyable, it helps to remove any negative connections they have. You can further add to this by offering a second helping of dessert for anybody (parents included) who finish all of the healthy items on their plate.
Of course, you can’t eat out all the time. When planning your meals to cook at home, consider a theme night. Such as a healthy seafood meal where you all wear an item of clothing which a pirate would wear. If your children like cartoons, get some plates and cutlery from the Groupon Coupons page for Children’s Place to keep them amused as they unknowingly eat all of the healthy food on their plates to discover the decal underneath.
There is no quick and easy way to convince your children not only to eat the healthy food on their plate but to enjoy it. However, this isn’t to say that it can’t be done. These are two very effective ways which you can employ to help introduce your children to healthy food.