Healthier Eating For Kids

Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what's for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens!

As parents, we want the best for our children. We help them to feel loved. We strive to teach them right from wrong. We play with and encourage them on a daily basis. We also hope to give them healthy habits for their life. I know all too well the battle healthy eating can pose between mother and child. It’s certainly not all fun and games! If only it were like this:

Plum Organics hopes to motivate healthier eating habits in children beginning at a young age. They offer an entire line of healthy snacks for babies and toddlers – from organic freeze dried fruit to blended meals for babies. It’s always nice to have healthy options like these available. Over time, I have also learned some other ways to help get my kids eating healthier overall.

Set the Example. Kids pay close attention to the actions of the adults in their lives, including eating habits. One of the biggest motivating factors to get children to eat healthy is to lead by example and eat the foods you hope for them to eat.

Give A Choice. When shopping for groceries, encourage your child to pick out a fruit or vegetable to eat during the upcoming week. At meal times, let him or her choose between two or three different options. For example, “would you like carrot sticks or apple slices with lunch today?”.

Use Different Cooking Methods. You could surprise yourself that kids may like vegetables if they are prepared a bit differently. For example, roast vegetables with a little bit of olive oil to bring out a less bitter taste. Cook carrots with a small amount of honey to add just the touch of sweetness to help them appeal more to a child. Blend fruits into a smoothie. Make things in bite-sized pieces, such as mini-meatballs or even tofu-nuggets, which can open a child to trying a new food.

Amp It Up! Get excited about healthy eating! Make a big deal about a healthy snack. I love making “green monsters” for Makenzie. The bright green color makes the snack fun and gets her excited about drinking it. She also loves “chomping on carrots like a rabbit” or making faces out of various cut up fruits/vegetables.

Dips. So many kids love to dip things. Find a variety of healthy dips to motivate your child into eating a larger variety of foods. Everything from yogurt to hummus to peanut butter to a sugar-free ketchup make great options.

Bake away. Baked goods are a fabulous way to sneak in healthy food items. Add grated vegetables to bread and muffins, like my favorite Pumpkin Carrot Cake Bread. Use fresh or dried fruit in quick, easy, homemade bars. Bake casseroles that include vegetables and healthy proteins chopped into small, bite-sized pieces along with some cheese to appeal more than a pile of chopped produce on their plates.

Check ingredients. It’s inevitable that packaged items like crackers, cereals, hot dogs, and more will be part of a child’s meals. Try to pay attention to the quality of ingredients to choose the best of what is available. Pay attention to things like the names of ingredients (look for ingredients you recognize), less sugar, whole grains, and sodium content.

I believe with a little time and thoughtfulness, we can all help our children achieve better eating habits. It takes some planning and consistency, but it can be done. I don’t believe in forcing certain foods on children, but the above practices can help children venture out into adopting healthier choices without pressure. Keep trying, and with time you may find healthy eating a seamless part of parenthood.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Plum Organics, visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PlumOrganics.

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14 Comments to “Healthier Eating For Kids”
  1. Great post! I don’t have kids yet but I think it is so important to start early in teaching them healthy eating habits! I think you are doing a great job by teaching M and B through your own examples! :-D

  2. chrissi says:

    love this…all too often people don’t spend enough time making great healthy snacks and certainly don’t set the right example always…i hope when i do have kids i will take the much needed time to make this happen :)

  3. great tips tina! I’ve always appreciated your approach to this. You set the example and your kids eat healthy–but you also let them be kids and eat junk from time to time.

  4. I don’t have any children, but I definitely think that kids will eat vegetables if you show them from early age how good they can be!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Love this! It’s so true. I love that you set an example for M (and B) early on and help them get excited about eating healthy foods!

    I especially agree with preparing things differently. My sister and I are opposite when it comes to certain foods–if one of us prefers the veggie cooked, the other probably hates it cooked. It’s weird. When we were younger our parents had to always ask us which one of us liked certain foods and which one didn’t. It was weird, but it worked! We both got the foods we preferred, and Mom and Dad knew we were eating something good for us. It was just a matter of making sure we’d eat it.
    I might have to suggest the carrots and honey idea to my family someday… One thing that my mom sometimes does with carrots is to cook them with a little brown sugar (and butter?). So much better than regular old cooked carrots!! I’ll eat cooked carrots, but if you want me to eat them *willingly*, add some brown sugar. Haha. :)

  6. Love Plum Organics and use them for my 6.5 month old. Such an important topic. My 3 year old amazes me that she will take a bite of something sweet and announce she is done unlike her mama who will eat anything sweet all up! :)
    We just never make a big deal about sweets and so far it has worked.
    I have her help me cook like you said and she is definitely more likely to try and eat something if she is involved. Broccoli with a little butter is her favorite!

  7. STUFT Mama says:

    Tina- such great tips. I love setting an example. I try to eat vegetables in front of my kids all the time. :) I need to be better at planning meals out though. Always something to work one, right? :)

  8. Efka says:

    At the age of 5.5 y my son is bad vegetable/fruit eater, but it is better now, as I can argument him and he at least tries everthing

  9. Awesome post Tina! I think these are some great tips for anybody trying to incorporate a more healthy lifestyle!

  10. Bahahah that advertisement is so funny. Very cute.
    And great post! I think these tips apply for any age–health is health! :)

  11. Thanks for this post – just forwarded to my sis! Great tips!

  12. Rachel says:

    Thanks for these awesome tips! Encouraging healthy eating habits in our kids is so important!

  13. Angelina says:

    Great tips regarding kids healthy eating habits. Kids should be vegetarians.

  14. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

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