Encourage your children to eat healthy meals by making mealtime fun! A little creativity can turn healthy eating into an exciting and enjoyable time!
Here are some tips on how to keep children interested in healthy eating!
- Personalize your meals. Make meals look appealing by presenting food in a fun and interesting way! Give your meals a makeover by transforming snacks in fun animals – like a caterpillar made out of grapes – or funny faces! Some other creative examples include personalizing a pizza with your favorite fruits and vegetables as toppings or creating your own trail mix with various nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
- Have a variety of foods! Expose your children to a variety of different foods, textures, and flavors to keep them excited about what they are eating. This gives children the chance to try new foods regularly! It is also important to make healthy food available for kids to snack on when hungry. Keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with various nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, and low fat dairy products – like yogurt and cheese sticks - for easy access.
- Keep it small. Serve bite-sized foods and small portions to young children for easy, convenient eating. Some examples include mini whole grain muffins, sliced fruit, and veggie sticks. In addition, try using smaller dishes and utensils to scale down portion sizes so kids aren’t too overwhelmed by the amount of food.
- Be a role model. Let your children see you eating healthy as well by enjoying healthy meals at the table together as a family. Parents are a major influence on children’s eating habits, so make sure you are helping to set the foundation for future healthy choices!
Get your kids involved by turning your nutritious meal preparation into a fun family activity! Have the whole family participate in making their own healthy snacks or decorating their meal. Allowing children freedom of their own eating choices helps them build healthy eating habits for the future!
For more creative ideas on how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into a fun snack or meal, check out this MyPlate infographic.