5 ways to get your kids to eat better
I hear comments all the time on how great of an eater Liv is and I am constantly being asked how we did it. To be honest it has not been much of an issue for us. I like to think it is because I have been offering Liv a variety of healthy foods, and avoiding sugar as much possible since day one. But if you are having trouble in this area I have put together a list of 5 ways to get your kids to eat better.
1. Plan for meals and snacks. Kids need to eat, a lot and the more you are prepared the healthier they will eat. I know if it gets to be 5:30 and dinner isn't on the table yet Liv is going to want applesauce after applesauce and then once dinner is ready she is not going to be hungry enough to want to eat whatever I put in front of her. So to be sure she eats all her broccoli I make sure dinner is done on time with limited snacks beforehand.
2. Incorporate sensory based food education. Have different fruits and vegetables around for kids to touch, smell and taste (if they want). Involve children in baking and cooking. If you have a garden have them help you with it.
3. Be a role model for your children. If you are saying one thing but doing another your kids are going to notice. This is not only what your putting in your mouth but also what is coming out of your mouth. I noticed this in my own family, it seemed like someone was always talking about weight loss, calorie couting, skinny vs fat and so on. I finally sat down with everyone and asked them to not talk about this in front of Liv. Sure, she is only two but she is taking in everything she hears.
4. Make food fun. Don't harp on your children to eat their vegetables, your part is to provide a balanced meal, it is up to them to actually eat it. Get creative, Pinterest has a thousand of ideas on how to make smiley faces out of pancakes and so on.
5. At the end of the day, you are in charge of the food you bring in to the home, not the kids. Your child will not starve themselves, they will eventually be hungry enough to eat the food you put in front of them.
Earlier this summer Carey and I were watching a documentary about the Keto diet on Netflix. They were changing children's diets to deal with behavior issues. ( Yes, food has a HUGE impact not only on your kid's health but on their behavior too) There was a certain young girl with autism who only ate junk food. One day the junk food was all thrown out and she was only offered healthy foods. She threw her plates across the room, had meltdown after meltdown and refused to eat. It took a few days (six, if I remember right) but she finally got hungry enough she ate was given to her.