Five Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy Foods
You're inundated with advice about healthy eating. And you're TRYING to get your kids to eat healthier. Now here are some suggestions from a Monmouth County elementary school nurse.
1. Teach your kids about nutrition from a very early age. Even if you think they don't understand, it will sink in. Say things like "This carrot is loaded with vitamin A which is so good for your eyes."
2. Go through your refrigerator, pantry and cabinets with your children and talk about what positive changes you can make. Keep healthy snacks on hand in proper portions. Good options: fruits and veggies, smoothies, low-fat cheese, yogurt, frozen yogurt, frozen fruit juice bars, and whole grain crackers.
3. Involve kids in meal-planning and grocery shopping. Take them to local farmers' markets and pic-your-own farms.
4. Make it fun! Get the kids in the kitchen whenever possible and let them help with cooking, peeling, picking leaves off of herbs, and even chopping (if they're old enough, with age-appropriate knives of course.)
5. Be persistent but not insistent when offering healthier food options and choices. Many parents give up a little too easily when it comes to trying out new foods with their kids. It can take 8 - 15 exposures before a child warms up to a new taste!
(Laurie Cosgrove RN, School Nurse, Manasquan Elementary School Health and Wellness Committee)