It can often be a daunting and frustrating task to get your children to eat meals, especially healthy ones. Research suggests that it takes 10 to 15 tries before a child will actually eat, and like, a new food. How you present healthy foods may factor in as well. A recent study showed that school-aged children (7-10 years old) ate more carrots when they were served whole carrots versus when they were served diced carrots.
So try to stay positive and encourage healthy eating by following these tips from Rockmybaby Nanny Agency;
- Be a good role model – children tend to mirror the eating habits of parents and carers. So if they see you snacking on healthy foods and eating well, they are likely to do the same.
- Try to plan ahead – sometimes this can be hard in our hectic lives, but if you plan healthy meals and snacks even a few days ahead then it takes the pressure off trying to find something last minute. An easy way to do this is to cut up vegetable sticks, such as carrot and cucumber, and have them ready in the fridge or bag when you are going out for a quick snack. At meal time’s batch cook, maybe cook enough to last a couple of days or cook several meals at a time and have them throughout the week or freeze them for a later date. If you are organised and relaxed, meal times start more relaxed.
- Get them involved in cooking – kids love helping, so if you can allow them to pick ingredients in the supermarket and then help with a simple dish such as home made pizza or chopping tomatoes for a pasta sauce (supervised with plastic or butter knife), they will be proud of what they have achieved and will want to eat it with the rest of the family.
- Encourage and praise – even if they only eat one pea or a piece of carrot that has been dipped in a sauce, its positive steps in the right direction and they should be praised for it.
Rockmybaby Nanny Agency always advises combining healthy eating with plenty of fluids, ideally water.