When kids only want junk food – it can really really hard to help them eat clean. Today we are talking about how to go out with the Junk, In with the Veggies!
Do you ever feel that you’d like to feed your children a more healthy diet? Less junk food and more fresh fruit and vegetables? Sounds easy in theory, doesn’t it? But you’re worried there will be a bit of a fuss? A lot of a fuss? A huge great, meltdown of a fuss? They’ll scream and kick and cry and refuse to eat the lovely healthy vegetables. You know you’ll just resort to the old favorites, just to keep the peace? Don’t worry! You’re not alone and you’re not a bad parent!
Changing your kid’s diet can be tough.
It can be tough getting your kids to eat a healthy diet. I’m not sure why junk food is so appealing (actually I am, it’s all that salt, sugar, and fat. But what I mean is, I’m not sure why kids have this built in desire to eat it.) However, a healthy diet is worth the effort. My advice is to look at the long term picture. It’s all about getting into healthy habits, and we all know habits are difficult to change right?
But if you do want to change your diet and move away from junk to health here’s what I’d do…
- Look at the packets that you buy. Look at the labels (generally the less that is in them the better.) Look at the amount of salt, sugar, and fat. Stop buying the worst and work out what you think is ok to keep buying.
- Give your kids lots of opportunities to eat fresh fruit and veg. It doesn’t matter if they refuse it. If you don’t offer it, they can’t eat it.
- Offer healthy snacks throughout the day. Then you won’t worry so much about dinner.
- Offer lots of variety. Kids don’t like new things right? So get all those ‘unknown’ things onto the ‘accepted’ list! I know it’s not easy, but don’t worry, just keep working at it.
- Get them involved. Kids love to feel in control. So let them help you. How you do this is up to you. You could take them shopping, do some cooking or just let them choose which vegetables you’re going to serve.
- Be prepared to cook. If you want to move away from packets you need to do some cooking. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Kids love simple easy meals.
Changing habits takes time. (That’s why they’re called habits!) It typically takes 21 days to make a habit and 3 days to break one. Try not to get upset if it doesn’t work out the first time. Just keep going and look at the bigger picture..the health of your child. If you instill healthy eating habits at an early age hopefully they’ll keep them for life. And pass them onto their children as well.
This guest post is by Dr Orlena Kerek…
“A pediatric doctor, mother of 4 small children and author of SnottyNoses… I write about kids health and trying to help them eat healthily…I know it’s much easier said than done. But it’s definitely worth doing. I help children love their veggies. (Or should I say to stop parents loosing their mind whilst trying to feed them veggies!)” You can also sign up for her tips and read more on her page: Snotty Noses. ”
Do you want more tips on healthy eating? Try these…