How to get your kids to eat healthy

One of the most common questions I am asked is “How do you get your kids to eat healthy”??? Living in a fast paced, fast food society has taken a toll on our children.  Now with 1 in 3 people dying from cancer or heart disease, and the horrifying truth about skyrocketing childhood obesity and diabetes on the rise, the question of “how” really needs to be turned into “why”.  If you understand “why you should get your kids to eat healthy”, then the how comes much more simply!

Do not underestimate how amazing and brilliant your child is.  Children are hungry for knowledge and it certainly does not stop where nutrition is involved.  I’m not talking about the extremely outdated and incorrect food pyramid we all grew up with.  I’m talking about the knowledge of where food comes from, how it is grown, and how it is used to fuel and form our bodies.  Kids are absolutely fascinated with figuring out how things work, especially their own bodies.  I encourage giving them the information they need to figure out for themselves why it is important to eat healthy.

Kids are fascinated with how things grow.  There are so manydifferent shapes colors and textures, and varieties of types of fresh whole foods available.  Kids love to learn about them through growing their own fruit and vegetable garden. If space is limited, even a potted cherry tomato plant, or something smaller like growing fresh herbs can super ignite your kids to eat more fresh vegetables.  Take your kids to the local farmers market and ask to take a tour of your local farmers land.  Even something as simple as letting the kids pick out the produce at the grocery store can get them excited about eating more fresh vegetables.

There is a wide variety of media options available to help your family understand the facts about food and nutrition.  Most everyone has access to world class documentaries such as “Hungry for a Change”, “Sweet Misery”, “Super-Size Me”, and “Fast Food Nation” literally at their fingertips through the internet.  Allow your children to see the truth about where there food comes from, as well as the consequences of eating for convenience verses nutrition.  This will absolutely help children and parents unite to make healthier choices as a family.

Get your kids united on a mission.  Kids long to be a part of something big and they want to feel like what they contribute really matters.  For example, if someone in your family is suffering from a dangerous illness such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes or obesity ask your children to help.  Yes I said “ask” and not demand.  Often when asked to help, kids can really take ownership of making steady changes in the family’s diet.  Take caution the side effect from this can be kids asking to eat healthier foods, and even bringing to light if more changes are needed for a healthier family menu.

Get your kids actively helping in the kitchen!  Kids love to learn how to cook, and remember they are more likely to eat what they grew themselves, or handpicked from the market or store.  Lastly, have fun, trying new things!  Make it a family tradition to try one new fruit or vegetable per week. There are so many beautiful colorful and absolutely flavorful varieties of fruits and vegetables to choose from!    If you’re in need of some inspiration or suggestions of how to prepare those new tasty treats, or could use some fresh new ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks; subscribe to a food magazine, watch a cooking program or attend a live cooking class.  For more information on Healthy Cooking Classes designed for healthy active family lifestyles and other monthly family friendly classes click this link

Rachel Moger

Healthy Cooking

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