Healthy Options for the Pickiest Eaters!
I am not a professional in this topic as I do not have any children of my own, but I understand that many parents have a difficult time with their picky eaters. Hopefully I can give you some helpful tips on how to integrate healthy foods in family meals that the entire family will love!
Make it fun! Decorate the plate, make a picture out of fruit, create a favorite character out of food, etc! We all eat with our eyes first so making the plate FUN and creative will spark your picky little eaters imagination! Pinterest has a ton of fun ideas for you or simply just search "creative healthy food ideas" into google, click images and BAM ~ so many great ideas!
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulstruck/3401379586/
Be the example! Children will copy what you do. Are you eating processed foods then handing your little one an apple? No wonder they don't like it, they want to be just like you! Try eating the foods you want your little to eat!
Sneak it! Creating fruit smoothies with some kale in them is a great way to sneak in a serving of deep leafy greens, and I promise your little will have no idea you snuck some veggies in! One of my favorite smoothies is a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, frozen mango, kale, and chia seeds. It's so sweet and fruity, it's sure to be a favorite! You can also sneak in carrots, celery, spinach, & any type of veggie your heart desires!
Include your children in meal preparation: Cooking with your children is a great way to teach them valuable life lessons. It also may encourage the child to try something new because they had assisted in making it.
Try something new every week: Make a list of fruits & vegetables that you have not tried before, or do not have regularly. Integrate one of the ingredients into meals everyday for a week. Try preparing the ingredient differently and changing the seasoning. Your little one may not like steamed carrots but love uncooked, crunchy carrots.
Create a healthy twist on favorite comfort food: Does your little one love mac and cheese? Try adding peas to it or using whole wheat pasta for a healthy twist on a favorite. Have you raised your child on cow's milk? Try substituting dairy in for almond, coconut, soy, or rice milk. There are so many alternatives to cow's milk now-a-days, be proactive and ditch the dirty dairy! Cow's milk is meant for calves, not humans!
Healthy snacks: Your first step is to clean out the pantry. Get rid of processed snacks and foods that lack in nutritional value. Stock up on fresh produce, raisins, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Prepare fresh cut fruit, fruit salad, veggie sticks, or a salad for a snack! Serve veggie sticks with homemade hummus for a delicious treat packed with protein and fiber. You can also dehydrate fruit for a delicious dried fruit snack! Dried fruit is also great to pack in your child's lunch!
I hope these tips are helpful when dealing with picky eaters! Always remember YOU are the example and your child will follow what you do!
Do you have a picky eater? What other helpful, healthy tips do you have for parents with picky eaters?!