Health Parenting

Healthy Eating for Kids: The Complete Guide

Healthy food for kids

Getting your kid to eat healthy might not be the easiest thing with so much junk food available but it’s not mission impossible.

It’s all a matter of building good habits from the very beginning. There are many ways to incorporate healthy foods into their diet to ensure that their organism is developing the way it should from a young age.

Here we gathered expert-approved tips on how to get your kid to eat healthy, as well as important information about proper child nutrition.

What are the Healthiest Foods for Children Approved by Experts

A balanced diet is important for adult and child health, and it’s not impossible to achieve with the right mindset and with a little bit of effort.

The most important food groups for a healthy diet for children include:

  • Healthy protein;
  • Whole grains;
  • Vegetables;
  • Fruits;
  • Dairy (preferably low-fat).

Making sure that your kid’s plate includes a variety of foods from these main groups will keep it healthy and energetic – the way a child should be.

These food groups will provide your child with all the necessary nutrients for the body’s proper functioning and development, including the necessary macronutrients, as well as important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

If you struggle with getting your child to eat nutritious food, calm down. Below are some tips from professionals that will help you teach your child to eat healthily and to find it easy to prepare healthy meals yourself.

Let your Kid Help

Kids helping with cooking

Doing activities together with your kids is something they will always enjoy and it will teach them skills and habits without them even noticing it.

Letting your kid help with groceries and meal preparation will get it excited about the meal and it will teach it to value healthy food.

Moreover, when they have prepared the meal themselves, they will be much more excited about eating it. Allow them to help with some simple tasks according to their age and capabilities until they start initiating healthy meal preparation themselves.

Come up with Healthy Snacks

Healthy breakfast

Kids need snacks not only because they are tasty, but because during growing, the body needs a lot more nutrients. To keep your children from indulging in unhealthy snacks and processed foods, make sure they have various healthy snack options available.

Provide them with a lot of fruits and healthy drinks like fruit juice and milk, or find some healthy cookie options without added sugars.

Become a Role Model

Kids learn from example, so you need to practice what you preach. While they are little, children have the impulse to imitate adults, which is actually the way they learn.

If they see how much value you put into healthy eating, they will even subconsciously start following your model and these habits will remain with them long after they’ve grown into adults themselves.

Camouflage the Healthy Foods

If your kids resist eating some foods that are quite important for their nutrition, there are a lot of ways to disguise them. For example, when you’re preparing meat for lunch or dinner, instead of adding potatoes, add some cooked vegetables to the meal, or prepare a stew with vegetables included.

If you’re making mashed potatoes, throw in some carrots too for extra vitamins. Prepare different kinds of dips from vegetables that your kids will enjoy snacking on without knowing your hidden plan.

Make it Fun

A great way to make your child enjoy eating their vegetables is by making fun meals by cutting them and arranging them into unexpected and interesting shapes that kids would find funny.

Another great tip to make it fun is to introduce new ways of eating it, for example providing tasty dips and showing your kid that they can dip with thinly cut carrots.

Plan Meals in Advance

Meal plan

Planning a healthy meal for each day can be exhausting and frustrating. If you want to be successful, plan at least a week in advance.

If planning a week in advance proves to be exhausting too, take 20 minutes in the weekend to prepare a monthly meal plan and you will feel the weight get off your shoulders.

You can even prepare meals and freeze them in advance so that you always have a healthy option available in your fridge. When heating frozen meals, try to add something prepared on the spot to round the meal.

Focus on the Overall Diet

Instead of focusing on specific foods, always keep the big picture in mind and follow the general healthy diet for kids. That will allow you to easily vary meals and find different ways to serve nutritious foods in ways that your kids will enjoy them.

The general rule is to avoid processed and packed foods, as well as added sugars and unhealthy fats, and provide your children with foods that are as natural as possible.

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