Have you ever tried giving your kids more fruit and veggies, but it all ended up unsuccessfully? It is a common problem among parents and trust us, it is nothing to worry about.
But, on the other hand, it is definitely something you should work on. When you start with this, remember that a child eats what it is used to eat, so make sure you implement as much fruits and veggies in their every day diet as possible.
Okay, so, why we opt for fruits and vegetables? Well, studies have shown that the children who consume more of these products have less risk of suffering from obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Also, those children who do not consume unhealthy foods are not exposed to the addicting substances found in the sugar, salt, processed compounds and so on.
The healthy foods can even improve the focus of the children when theyre in school, improve their overall energy and mood, and do not provoke any stimulation like the caffeine or the sugar does.
But what happens if your child is already used to unhealthy foods and grew up without the fruits and veggies? There are still a lot of ways for you to implement new and healthy habits into the lifestyle of your child, in order to stop them from making poor food choices.
This is why we present to you some ideas on how to make your child consume healthier foods every day.
the kids love them and they can never notice if you squeeze in a veggie or two in there. Actually, children love smoothies with more fruits and veggies because it catches their attention with its vivid colors, and you can even mix in some healthy proteins in there like the hemp seeds, chia seeds, natural almond or peanut butter.
Make sure you mix up fun fruits such as pineapple, veggies such as frozen broccoli (which will go unnoticed if mixed with fruits) and you can even try baby carrots.
Experiment with different options, just put equal amounts of fruits and veggies inside.
An interesting sauce
mix in some veggies in the sauce you prepare for dinner. Use red peppers or finely chopped spinach, or even roasted corn kernels.
Put cauliflower in your alfredo sauce, make hummus with chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and red peppers, or make guacamole sauce with tomatoes, avocado, onions, peppers and lime juice.
A healthy pizza
lets face it, all children love pizza. Giving the tomato sauce is a natural ingredient to start off the pizza topping, so far youre doing great.
Ask your child to help you decorate the pizza together, and do it by adding some healthy veggies in there. Use nutritional yeast instead of cheese because it is a healthier option.
Red bell peppers, sliced olives, diced carrots, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chopped baby spinach will do just the trick.
Create fun snacks
pair some baby carrots with homemade hummus. Create a fun snack and add a fun name to it too. Show your kids how much you enjoy it and they will want to try it.
You can get healthier yourself with this process! Try the baby carrots or strawberries with almond butter or peanut butter, and implement as much color as you can because kids love colors, especially when they can find them in the plate.
the oatmeal is an excellent breakfast choice, so feel free to add as many healthy products in there as you want. The oats contain fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, iron and B vitamins, meaning they are good for children and adults.
Choose whole grains, raisins, cinnamon and other ingredients to make it an even healthier meal!
Include in every meal
the more veggies the kids see, the more veggies they will eat – so put as much fresh veggies on their plate as you possibly can, in every meal.
A helpful tip here would be to tell your children fun facts about the food they eat, for an example, carrots makes your hair shiny, or broccoli gives you strong muscles, and so on.
Switch the processed with healthy
if you have a bag of chips lying around, throw it away and put a serving of carrots instead. All humans are naturally inclined to more unhealthy food for it gives them a bigger dose of dopamine, creating an instant pleasure.
Unfortunately, when the dopamine wears off, we have headaches, cravings, nausea and seek unhealthy foods all over again.
Do not give your child the burden to choose. Place a colorful fruit and veggie plate in front of them so that they can continue on with their day after having a healthy meal.
Replacing the mayo with a veggie spread is gold
the mayo contains yolk from an egg, oil, or even processed oil to make it lower in cholesterol, but the truth is none of these ingredients is a healthy one, and definitely should be avoided as an option which your kids choose to spread on their sandwiches every single day.
Even the healthier options of the mayo still contain great amounts of vegetable oil which is not good and poses a risk to the overall health.
So, instead of choosing spreads which are high in fat, choose mustard, hummus, salsa, or even make your home mayo and sneak in a side of veggies with it too.
You can add some fresh greens here, tomatoes, sliced carrots, fresh zucchini, black bean spread or even some avocado slices.
Sandwiches which are filled with veggies can make up for a delicious meal which can be prepared within minutes and is a much healthier version than the sandwich whose base is mayo.
Also, avoid the cheese for it is very hard to digest and can spike your cholesterol levels.
A fun stir fry
another easy way to work in more veggies is a fun stir fry meal. Here are some directions on how to make a healthy one – instead of pre-cooking meat, put lentils or black beans, and when it comes to the veggies, put more sliced red peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, grated carrots, or any other veggies you enjoy or prefer.
Cook the mixture on a medium low heat in a low sodium veggie broth and when youre finally done, top off your meal with brown or wild rice, and then serve.
The children will love all the colors which are implemented in this meal. Use regular herbs and spices if you want to add some more flavor to the meal.
A healthy spaghetti is always a big hit
this one is a classic childhood favorite meal, you simply have to add more healthy products to it. Most of the pasta you find in the store are filled with calories and low in nutrition, which does not benefit your children nor you at all.
This is why you make sure you use 100% whole grain spaghetti, red lentil spaghetti or sprouted grain spaghetti, and all of these types can be found in stores for children who do not tolerate grains.
Create a veggies sauce which you will add to the cooked pasta. The best sauce is the tomato sauce with grated mushrooms, carrots, oregano, broccoli florets, and even some butternut squash puree.
To enrich the flavor, you definitely have to go with the tomato sauce, because it gives you a lot of space to experiment and add as much veggies as you want.
For a dessert, you may want to turn to another healthy option, such as an apple, banana, or even berries,and place them in a fun bowl for the children.
You can even mix up these three fruits and create a salad. Top it off with a pinch of healthy fats, such as a spoon of natural peanut butter or a tablespoon of the almond butter.
It does not matter which one of these tricks you choose to use, as long as it works for you. Just remember, find the best way to make your child eat healthier foods.
A way to start ensuring that will happen is to start at home, with your cooking. From there on, simply make sure that your child sticks to the dietary plan you have prepared.
Share the benefits of the foods you give them, so they can accept it better and eat it with no problem. Another great option is to invite them into the kitchen with you and ask them whether they want to help you or not.
They will be delighted to be a part of the team that prepares the meal and see how the colors of the foods intertwine before they ever get to the plate and be served. Happy cooking!