HEALTHY SNACK TIME??!
Kids are growing rapidly and they need good nutrition. Do you find offering healthy snack a challenge? If you struggle trying your kids to eat fruits and veggies, here is what you can consider doing. That’s what we actually did in the past. It works!
HERE YOU HAVE SOME OF MY PRACTICAL METHODS:
1. This is a NUMBER ONE rule when you think your kids are “picky eaters”. You will not achieve any results if you will not follow this one. There are actually no PICKY EATERS but they might seem like it, because they are tricked by convenient foods and just make easy and pleasant choices instead of reaching for fruits and vegetables. In this case you HAVE TO get rid of any candy, bars, chips and other processed foods, just stop buying those and do not keep any at home. It is not easy at first, but once it is limited, fruits and vegetables will start looking more attractive. This may seem very radical, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. When it comes to doing a change like this, “addictive” processed foods will make it very difficult if they will still be around.
2. When your kid wants something to snack on, prepare a plate with precut, bite size fruits or vegetables or both, add a small portion of seeds or nuts (if there is no allergy). Best if there is something on the plate that they already like, just to start with something familiar. If you make a plate of easy to grab pieces (cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, grapes, apples, pears etc) your child may surprise you to really enjoy that instead of chips or other dehydrated and processed snacks. You will also notice a different energy after eating snacks like this.
3. Make a bigger platter and eat it together with your child, you can play together with the foods too. Don’t make a big deal if he or she is not very excited at first and do not show your disappointment if they will not even try. Maybe wait a bit or try it again next they, making sure your child is quite hungry. If you have 2-3 kids, or a friend of your child is coming over, they may encourage each other to try new fruits and vegetables. Also finding another like-minded family will make a difference. Kids learn from each other really well.
4. Lead by example and keep eating healthy snacks yourself if your child doesn’t want to try it at first. When he or she will see you do that every day, they usually become curious and will start to imitate you and do the same. Use their curiosity to your advantage. If you are trying a new fruit, prepare yourself a plate and sit a bit on a side, but the way the child can see you and be wandering about what are you having. Probably your child will come and ask questions and possibly will also try it. Don’t put too much pressure if he or she is a picky eater. I noticed Troy gives up if I get too excited for him to try new thing. I try to behave like it is nothing special and let him eat a few bites first. It may take a while, but it works. Patience is a key.
5. Be creative – prepare bunch of different fruit/veg, pack of sticks and make veggie or fruit skewers together with your kids. They love to create things and invent something new. Use cookie cutter and cut out shapes to make it more fun. Other side is to blend fruits just like for a smoothie and make juice pops using special moldings or just a simple ice tray. Kids love ice-cream they probably will like to try any frozen treat. Make fruit salads together, let them cut soft fruits or mix, squeeze juice etc. Engaging them in the kitchen, so they are helping you making things, is usually a great start to try what they have prepared themselves. I know it takes time and patience, but there is no short cut to good habits. It will pay of within time.
The most important advice is DO NOT GIVE UP too quickly and keep trying. It takes time to form new habits and drop the old ones. Usually 21 days, which is a proven fact.
Let me know if it worked!