Many parents out there are struggling with getting their kids to eat healthy and eat a variety of foods. I am the mother of a 2 1/2 year old boy who is very picky with what he eats. He loves cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, and junk food of course. I am sure he would love to live on cheese if I would let him.
A lot of parents make the mistake of letting their kids fill up on drinks instead of eating so try to limit how much juice and milk they get before meal times. Try letting your kids help make dinner or lunch too, my son loves helping me get lunch ready and setting up the table. Making different shapes with food or decorating it with funny faces or shapes seem to help too.
I can’t stand to let my son go to bed hungry so i try to compromise with him when he won’t eat the dinner I make. I will let him eat something that he likes but that is also somewhat healthy too. Sometimes he will have a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat bread, scrambled eggs, pasta, or cereal. I think it’s important to give kids some options and he’s at the age where he likes to have choice. He doesn’t get to have a snack unless he has eaten some healthier food first.
Even if your child wants to have some unhealthy food you can still swap it out for healthier food. Wheat bread, whole grain waffles, reduced fat crackers, ect. Be sure to offer new foods but don’t force them on your child. Just get creative and try to make it fun or make a game out of something. Many vegetables and fruits can be carved into fun animals. Or make up your own recipes, there are tons of different things to do with tortilla shells, quesidillas are fun and easy to make and have a variety of options. You can sneak in some veggies on pizzas too. Adding some fruit, like bananas, to crackers and peanut butter are also a good idea. Even adding some chopped up vegetable to there favorite noodle soup or stew is a good way to sneak some nutrition in there. Just think of things your kids normally eat and see if you can sneak another ingredient in there for them to try.
Just think of what interests your child and see if you can find some cookie cutters and cut up some sandwiches or fruit and veggies and give it a try. You could also try putting stuff on sticks that arent sharp to make shish kabobs. If nothing else it was fun for you and your children and you spent some quality time together.
I recently took my son to pick blackberries and he loved it, he also enjoys watering plants and picking vegetables from his grandmothers garden. You could try to teach your kids how vegetables grow and where they come from, they may be more willing to eat them if they had a part in helping them grow. You could do this no matter where you live, tomatoe plants are very easy to take care of. This also teaches them resposibility and gives them pride in something they created.