As a mom, grandma, great-grandma, and aunt, I spend quite a bit of time with kids of all ages. Each child has their own way of coming to the nutrition table.
When I was raising my children, my son would eat anything you put in front of him, his sisters were a bit more picky.
When trying to get kids to eat healthier, you need to think outside the processed food box. Here are a few things to try, always start with setting the example. Kids won’t eat healthy if you don’t.
Start in the garden or if you don’t have a garden, start with a container. Kids love to grow their own food and in turn taste what they grew. Allow them to decide what it is they would like to grow. When I’m talking to kids, I explain that what you decide to grow, you can learn to cook and eat.
Some examples of what they can grow; fresh herbs, potatoes, carrots or tomatoes. My grandchildren each do their own container of organic potatoes and it is quite a big deal when they are ready for harvest. It’s even more fun when it is something they have never seen before, such as a blue potato.
Next, you want to move to your kitchen. Kids love to get dirty and be hands on with their food. Even more importantly, they love the recognition that comes with preparing food for other family members. The older the child, the more he or she can do. You may find you have a budding chef.
For the food you aren’t growing, plan a trip to a local farm. Allow them to pick the foods they would like for dinner. In some areas, you can find farms that give tours. We have one that has a three day farm day event that includes, homemade ice cream, a wagon ride through the dairy barn and more.
Knowing where their food came from seems to encourage kids to choose healthier options. The food from the farm just taste better. Think “Farm to table.” Fresher is better!
Don’t be discouraged if they don’t like a food the first time they taste it. Prepare it in different ways and remember they need to eat it daily for approximately 2 weeks before you can be sure they don’t like it.
Do you have any other ways you find that work to get your kids eating healthier? I would love to hear them!