In general, kids like to eat healthy. They love foods like fruit, yoghurt, milk and cereals. But unfortunately, the huge amount of chocolates and chips they see and are offered everywhere often makes them crave for these foods and rather rejecting the healthy foods you serve them.
But with some simple tricks, you can easily make your kids eat healthy foods, sometimes even without them noticing it:
- Hide the veggies in foods your child loves
- Serve healthy foods with foods your child loves to make them more attractive
- Serve foods in a way your child likes them
- Make desserts, sweets and chips a bonus treat for eating the healthy food
- Make your kids help preparing the meal
Trick #1: Hide the veggies in foods your child loves
- Finely chop vegetables and pack them into a meatloaf or meat balls. Your child won’t even notice they are there. Especially mushrooms and aubergines can barely be seen as they take up a similar color like the meat. You can also use this trick for your minced meat when making a burger. Which child would reject a burger?
- If your child likes milk and yoghurt but refuses to eat fruit, puree the fruit secretly and mix it into the yoghurt. Tell your child it is fruit yoghurt you bought just like that. Or make a smoothie or milk shake. Maybe add some honey to make it sweeter and tastier.
Trick #2: Serve healthy foods with foods your child loves to make them more attractive
- Serve fruit or fruit puree with ice cream.
- Pack fruit into your chocolate or vanilla cream.
- Serve a small portion of the veggies your child doesn’t like with other vegetables and chips.
- Put various vegetables into your pasta tomato sauce.
- Pour a vegetable puree over the pasta, or make chutney to serve with the chips or crackers.
strong>Trick #3: Serve foods in a way your child likes them
- Maybe your child doesn’t have a general problem with the food itself but rather with its texture.
- If your child doesn’t like tomatoes, try tomato sauce, canned tomatoes or tomato soup.
- If he doesn’t like a certain fruit, make a jelly of it and put it on his sandwich for breakfast or mix it in his yoghurt as a snack.
- Try stewed or canned fruit instead of fresh fruit. Buy canned fruit in fruit juice rather than syrup as these products don’t have sugar added.
- Make your child’s plate look interesting. For example, cut the fruit and arrange it as a picture. Some butchers also sell special polony for kids in the shape of a funny face or a teddy bear.
Trick #4: Make desserts, sweets and chips a bonus treat for eating the healthy food
- This strategy requires some determination from your side and might well result in some tantrums but should be quite effective after a while. Don’t ever give in! Eventually your child will give up.
- If your child refuses a certain healthy food, tell him he will only get dessert if he finishes his lunch.
- Chips and sweets will only be given after eating the whole dinner.
- Just make sure not to overload your child’s plate. In that case you might be punishing him for not overeating which would certainly be wrong.
Trick #5: Make your kids help preparing the meal
- Children are much more willing to eat a meal when they helped preparing it.
- Give your child any task he can perform, like peeling the fruit, cutting the vegetables, stirring the food etc. The more you involve him in the cooking process, the better.
When following these five tricks, your child will eventually eat at least some of the healthy foods. Focus on one food or one trick at a time, and when your child accepts this food, move on to the next one. Your child has developed his eating habits over time and will only gradually change them.