My oldest son, Zane, is a picky eater. If he could he would live off peanut butter sandwiches. It is a struggle to have him try anything new or anything that may be green!
Are you struggling to get your picky eater’s to eat healthy options? Here a five ways I have learned to convince my son to eat healthier.
Make it Cute!
One of my favorite ways to make food cute is making bentos. Bentos can be anything from works of art to just making something cute to just packing lots of colorful fresh food together. If you want an awesome blog to follow all about Bentos check out Wendolonia she makes the best and easiest bentos. She is an inspiration.
But if making a bento looks to overwhelming or time consuming, start small. Just find cute ideas to do to your children’s snack or how to make one piece in their lunch fun. Check out Pinterest for some inspiration.
Make it Fun
Another way I have found to encourage my boys to eat good things is to make it fun to eat. If you missed my Less Mess Yogurt Tip you should check it out. Or did you know if you scratch a banana with a toothpick you can put a message that appears later in the day.
Have a Taste Testing
If your child is a picky eater where they see food and turn up their nose at it try out this great game. Go to the grocery store and let them pick out a fruit and vegetable in each color of the rainbow to try. Go home and prepare a taste testing. Get them excited about it, make it a party!
Then lay out each item and let them try each one. You may be surprised to find new things you would never have guessed your children would have liked. And hopefully you will get some new items to add to their menu.
Sneak It In!
I have found that one of the best ways to get my boys to eat vegetables, which is the hardest thing for me to get them to eat, is to sneak it into their food. I try not doing this too much as I want them to know how to eat healthier later on and to learn to enjoy vegetables. But you do what you can.
My go to way of sneaking in vegetables is with muffins. You can use zucchini, pumpkin, squash, carrots, and many other veggies in a muffin and they never will even notice. This is the best way for me to get Zane to eat Zucchini.
Make Them Your Little Chefs
If they make it they will eat it. I have found that if the boys help me make it, they see everything that goes into it, they will eat eat. Actually they get very excited about eating it because they know they made it!
But also encourage them to make their own recipes. This is what I did with Zane and him making Zane’s First Recipe. I gave him lots of options of bases, spreads, and toppings for his snack. He chose out each thing he wanted and created his own snack. He was so proud of himself!
Teach Them About Food
I have also found that going out and learning about the food they eat has really helped my boys enjoy their food more. They learn what they are eating and where it comes from. Learning this seems to take the mystery away from the food and encourages them to eat it.
We pick our own berries during the summer, either going to a local farm or just to the walking paths by our home. But I also hope to take them to a local farm to see more about other kinds of foods they are eating.
I’m also a big advocate in teaching your children about the different things they should eat. I sat down with Zane a few years ago and we talked about the food pyramid (my version) and what we should eat and what we should only have as treats once in awhile. I was really surprised at how much Zane took in and learned from this.
Be an Example
Really the best way to teach your children to live healthy and eat right is being an example for them. They may hate their veggies now, but the fact is it is probably just a stage. If you keep putting it in front of them, make them try it, and eat it in front of them.
I had a great example of this just the other day with my littlest Zarek. I was sitting with my snack, zucchini chips and low fat sour cream ranch, and he came up to me curious. “What are you eating” he asked. And quickly he devoured my whole snack. If I had sat the zucchini chips in front of him and just told him to eat it he would have stuck his nose up at me. But eating it and enjoying it made him curious enough to try it on his own.
What’s your favorite snack for your kids? How do you encourage them to try something new?