It is not always easy to get kids to eat healthy foods. The key to success is making the foods fun to eat. There are tips and tricks you can use to make healthy eating fun for kids.
Let’s start with vegetables. Most kids do not like vegetables and if they do, they only like one or two of them. Let’s look at some fun ideas to turn a vegetable into a fun snack or part of a meal.
- Creative idea – Fill the center of the celery with peanut butter (extra protein) then place a few raisins or nuts on top of the peanut butter. You no longer have just a piece of celery; you have a new creation that you can call “ants on a log.” This trick has been used for years and more importantly, it works even on the pickiest of little eaters.
- Dip those veggies – Try offering your child a selection of dips, unless they have a favorite already, you can even use peanut butter. Make them a colorful plate of vegetables, set the dip in the center of the plate, and let them dip the vegetables. If they do not like dip then make peanut butter sandwiches out of cucumber slices, green and red peppers, or any other vegetable that you can place a thin line of peanut butter on. You can also try using a small amount of jelly to add more flavors to the vegetables.
- If all else fails, then you will have to trick them. A great way to do that is with mashed potatoes. You can use carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, summer or winter squash, just about any vegetable you can puree. Mix the vegetable in with the potatoes and depending on the color of the vegetable, which is what the color of your potatoes will come out as. Give each color potato a fun name. For example, if the potatoes are green, you can call them grass potatoes. Alternatively, if your child has a favorite character that is red, and then call them by that character’s name. For example, if your child likes Sponge Bob then make yellow potatoes and call them Sponge Bob Potatoes.
- Most children like fruits because they are sweet. However, if your child does not like fruit, you can try dipping them with peanut butter and/or jelly. Or give the apple slice or pear slice a face using a tiny amount of chocolate syrup and a few (3 or 4) sprinkles.
- If your child refuses to eat it, then hide the fruit in a milkshake or a smoothie. You can also hide a lot of fruits inside pancakes. Just puree a small amount and mix it in the batter.
- There are a lot of foods the children do not like and if all else fails, hide the food in one of their favorite foods. If your kids love spaghetti, hide the food they do not like in the sauce. Make a soup with lots of fun shaped noodles cut the vegetables or meat up into microscopic pieces and stick them in there.
- Remember to keep SOME fruits in a small refrigerator without a freezer to keep fresh for the kids!
Tammy Mahan has been writing medical and health related articles for over 15 years. Healthline.com allows her share information with others.