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Tips to Encourage a Picky Eater to Eat Heart Healthy Foods

January 24, 2012

Not every parent meets with success when they try to get their children to eat heart healthy food. To avoid waging war over vegetables at the dinner table, some parents find themselves falling into the trap of serving unhealthy foods, such as mac ‘n’ cheese and pizza. Making a picky eater eat healthy food does not have to be a battle.

You can help your children maintain a healthy diet by following these useful tips:

Tips to encourage kids to eat healthy foodsIntroduce healthier elements into your children’s favorite foods – For instance, you can serve fruit slices over your children’s favorite cereal, carrot muffins, blueberry pancakes, or bell pepper in potato salad.

Get your children involved in the prep work – Bring your children along when you go grocery shopping and get them to help you prepare meals. Participation in the prep work will make them feel some ownership over a meal, and they will want to eat it more.

Do not purchase unhealthy foods – If there are no cookies and chips around, your children cannot eat them. When they are hungry, they will start munching carrot sticks and other healthy foods.

Maintain a regular snack times – Children like routine, and they will be more willing to eat when they are served food at certain times of the day.

Make healthy finger foods available – Children have a preference for food that they can pick up with their hands. As such, you should keep more fruits, veggie chunks, and other healthy finger foods around the house.

Avoid asking your children to “clean their plates” – When your children are full, do not force them to finish the food on their plates. Overeating can lead to childhood obesity and other health problems.

Encourage your children to “eat their colors” – Most foods that have bland colors lack nutrients, so it is best that you serve your children brightly colored foods.

Be a good role model – The best way to get your children to eat heart healthy foods is to set an example.

Photo by: kali.ma