How do we encourage our kids to also to eat more healthily? How do we ensure that they are making good food choices? Without depriving them of those treats? It can feel sometimes like huge uphill struggle especially when they keep turning their nose up at the apple on offer! If this sounds familiar I am completely with you on this but here are some things I have noticed that have helped with my kids.
Top tips to encourage kids to make healthy choices:
- Always make sure there are healthy foods to hand for a snack, if they come and ask for a snack always offer some fruit, breadsticks & dip, nuts, homemade healthy fruit or savoury muffins. Get creative with your snack offerings!
- Try to stay away from the high sugary cereal or keep it for a weekend treat and have another option like porridge that they could have instead. Eggs are very good for breakfast, high in protein and keep you full for longer.
- Snacks, especially now the kids are at home, I find the can I have a snack question comes up a lot. Try to set some boundaries, so they can’t have a snack if they haven’t had breakfast or if its too close to lunch or tea. I know some parents have actually set out snacks for the kids for the day which is definitely one way to do it!
- Get the kids involved in the kitchen; this is something I completely stand by, encourage them to start helping in the kitchen to prep food for meals or get them baking some healthy treats. Talk about the ingredients when you are cooking together, where did they come from, what do they look like, get them to think what they might taste like too.
- Instead of just saying no explain why some foods are good and some foods are bad, sometimes an explanation is all they need.
- Use up any leftover chocolate from Christmas and use it to make some chocolate cookies or chocolate cupcakes for a yummy treat after home schooling.
- Eating together, if they see you eating an apple or having a fruit smoothie for a snack they are more likely to want to have one too! The amount of times mine ask for a shake or ask to make fruit slush as they see me having mine. It is a good way to encourage them to eat fruit but just be careful as fruit has a high sugar content.
- The most important thing is don’t ban those naughty foods, but encourage them to choose the right food and that is ok to treat yourself to a slice of chocolate cake.
If you are looking for some inspiration check out our Easy Packed Lunch Swaps booklet.
Ruth is the founder of Three Bears Cookery Club.