Getting your child to eat healthy, nutritious food can be a challenge. We understand! But there are ways for you to encourage your child to get the nutrients they need without the headache.
At Neighborhood Pediatrics in Shenandoah, Texas, our team has the experience to give guidance on how to help your child get on board with good nutrition. Surprisingly, it might not be as difficult as you think.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children aged 2 and older eat a healthy balance of:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy
You might be wondering how to encourage your child to like these foods. Here are a few suggestions.
Choose yummy snacks
Grabbing a bag of potato chips or reaching for an ice cream sandwich might be an easy, quick way to give your child a snack. But think again.
Foods that are poor in nutrition can have an overall effect on your child’s moods, behaviors, and especially their development. Studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies in children can impair their brain function. That’s why you need to promote healthy choices for your child.
Get them involved
When children take ownership in their nutrition, it promotes interest and can be a fun activity for them. Whether you’re cooking dinner or preparing snacks for later, invite them into the kitchen, and ask them to be your handy helper.
For example, have them put grapes in a bowl, and tell them to give them a good rinse and then dry them off. Then tell them to pop them in the freezer. Once the grapes are frozen, they come out tasting like popsicles. Your child can then enjoy an excellent nutritious snack that they “made” themselves.
Mix healthy food in with their favorites
Did you know that if your child doesn’t like healthy foods like spinach or kale, you can mix them in with a delicious fruit-based smoothie and they won’t even taste it? Don’t be discouraged if you find that your child has an aversion to certain healthy foods. There are many recipes that can “hide” them, which will allow your child to get the nutrients they need.
Here’s just one website that offers some excellent recipes for you to try.
Be a good role model
Children watch what you do. If they see you make healthy choices, chances are, they will as well. When choosing your snacks and meals, talk about what good nutrition can do for your body, such as keeping your immune system strong, so you have fewer frequent sick visits to the doctor. You could also tell them it will keep them strong, so they can play with their friends every day and not miss out on fun events.
Communicating about why you’re making good decisions about your food can help them not only understand, but make them want to be a part of it.
To learn more about how to provide the right nutrition for your child without the struggle, give us a call, or book an appointment online. We can help you make your child’s meals and snacks taste delicious while fueling their body the right way.