Helping Kids Make Healthy Choices

The goal of every parent is to raise happy, healthy children. The happy part can sometimes be much easier to attain than the healthy part; especially with the plethora of processed items, sugar-filled goodies, and chemical-laden convenience foods on the market today. Although our kids might be attracted to the processed food in the pretty package at first glance, moms and dads can make healthier options just as enticing with these few simple tricks.

Involve little hands

Get your kids in the kitchen! Show them how to put together healthy meals. Let them help you pack their lunch or mix ingredients for dinner. Kids like to show-off what they’ve done and they will take pride in eating something healthy if they helped make it.

Make a healthy dessert

Let’s face it everyone loves dessert, especially kids! Rather than serving up cookies, cake, or ice cream, let the kids help you prepare their favorite flavor of sugar-free pudding topped with fresh fruit. It looks and tastes delicious!

Presentation is key

Make the foods visually appealing. Try fruit shish kabobs, cut sandwiches into different shapes, make “Ants On A Log”**,or make food faces on their plate. Be creative!

Availability is everything

Make healthy options the first thing they see. Leave a bowl of fruit on the counter, put cheese sticks and sliced vegetables in snack size bags in the refrigerator, or small packages of nuts, raisins, and low sugar cereal in a snack bowl. Kids are impulsive, so the first thing they see that seems appealing is what they’re going to eat.

All of the above are great ways to get kids interested in healthy eating; however, the most important tip is to lead by example. If you want your kids to eat healthy, they must see you doing so. Show them that mom and dad make healthy choices and enjoy every bite!

By Wendy Scharf

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