Like most things in life, eating healthy is a habit that starts when you’re young and stays with you as you grow. Good parenting isn’t about forcing your kids to eat right so much as it is finding ways to make them love eating right.
With these meal plan must-do’s, you’ll find this habit easier to create than you’d think.
Salads are seasonal sensations
Frozen and canned vegetables give veggies a bad name with their slimy textures and unnecessary preservatives like sodium.
The next time you make a salad-based meal, follow an age-old tradition and use healthier, tastier, and cheaper fresh vegetables that are in season. Broccoli and squash for winter, asparagus, strawberries and red-leaf lettuce in spring, and peppers, cucumbers, and green beans in summer.
Moreover, by sticking to the old-fashioned technique of building salad bowls according to what’s widely available, you’ll find that the recipes practically write themselves.
Validate your kids’ independence without validating nitpicks
Every child likes to express their individuality in some way, but if you cater to that trend too often, you’ll find them doing only what they want, and eating only their favorite things (like hot dogs).
Instead of giving your child his pick of the plate, let them choose one especially-hated item to exclude, such as a small side of corn or a wholegrain muffin, as long as they eat everything else.
A balanced plate won’t be overly dependent on a single food item to achieve overall nutritional health, so your child can express themselves without hurting their body in the process.
If all else fails, homogenize that texture
Instead of cooking healthy foods down into a mush, or frying them to death, keep them fresh but blend them into other ingredients.
If your child will eat yogurt, chances are they’ll eat a healthy yogurt dip with well-blended artichoke, broccoli, or kale in it, even if it’s served on the end of a celery stick.
Hummus and salsa also are excellent ways to get beans and tomatoes into the mouths of your children without expecting them to eat anything that’s recognizable as a vegetable. Your blender is a miracle worker, make use of it!
The danger of eating poorly, and by extension, helping your children eat poorly, is mostly a matter of insufficient forethought. Remember, you’re in charge of what food is in your fridge, and as long as you think it through in the grocery store, you won’t have any trouble feeding your kids right while still keeping them happy.
If you need some more tips, check out healthy living ebooks like Carob Cherub. Your kids deserve the best, including the best eating habits.
Photo from Pixabay
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