Getting kids to eat healthy or healthier is a giant but important task! Being a parent I know firsthand the challenges of getting your child to eat all the veggies on their plate. I'll fully admit to bribery once in a while, okay, like last night (eat two more bites of fish and get five blueberries)! I'm not the perfect parent (who is?) but I do give myself an "A" for effort!
What do I mean by this? Well, I always provide healthy options and sometimes Vienna will gobble up everything on her plate and sometimes she won't.
I don't freak out or stress myself out about her eating habits because I know it's more about the week as a whole, as opposed to evaluating each meal.
So the next time you're worried about your child getting enough nutrients, think about their diet for the whole entire week. Have they only snack been carbs, carbs and more carbs ? Or did you manage to get some carrots and hummus in there? Give yourself a pat on the back for those carrots and hummus and then keep on offering healthy snacks.
It's MUCH easier to start them off with healthy options from the get-go (such as in the food introduction stage ) than transitioning them later on. Transitioning your kids to eating healthier is absolutely possible and highly recommended. After all, healthy kids turn into healthy adults!
Since I've already shared 8 Tips for Raising Healthy Eaters, in my latest video, I'm sharing healthy swaps you can make. Depending on what your child is currently eating, it may be very simple to switch them up and, if not, I've got tips in my video to make it easier... like how to transition them from Kraft Peanut butter to peanut butter that's made of... wait for it.... peanuts!! :) You can do it and I'm here to support you.
My biggest piece of advice for encouraging your child to eat healthily is don't give up!
Persistence pays off. And be an example. What I mean by this is when kids see you eating healthfully they're more willing to do the same. Sometimes you don't see this pay off until they are older though. But it's 100% worth it.
Here is a brief summary of the points I talk about in my video:
Ketchup: This one has an easy replacement – salsa! Make your own.
Flavoured yogurt: Sugar, sugar, sugar. In fact, a standard "fruit on the bottom" yogurt can have 25 g of sugar per serving or more, which equates to 6 teaspoons – that's nuts! Have you tried my Homemade Coconut Yogurt?
Goldfish: I know, I know... everyone's favourite. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is full of additives and even contains autolyzed yeast, which is pretty much MSG and should not be given to children. Love Ducks are an inexpensive option and they are super yummy with hummus. You can find them in my healthy snack ideas for kids .
Peanut Butter: All the commercial brands have additives such as sugar and sodium – both of which are not needed to make a delicious spread. PB is delicious all on its own. Read your labels and buy nut butter that is only made from nuts. Make your own Cinnamon Almond Butter , you won't be disappointed!
Premade Pancake Mix: I feel a little nostalgic over Aunt Jemima because my grandmother used to make me pancakes all the time, I definitely got my love of p-cakes from her! But it's so easy to make your own and you'll save some money. Pretty much every weekend we make my Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes from Joyous Detox. We also love World's Easiest Pancakes . Making your own is the best way to avoid additives like colouring and flavouring.
Fruit Juice: Again, it's the added sugar in fruit juice, empty calories and the fact that there's ZERO fibre. Kids who drink juice are filling up on empty calories that could be replaced by a nutrient-dense piece of fruit. See my mom hack in my video for what I do when Vienna wants juice.
Granola Bars: Food additives and too much sugar! Food manufacturers sure know how to make food addictive for kids – just add tons of sugar. We keep Oaty Chomps stocked in our home. They are nut-free too, making them safe to bring to school. You can also make your own Everyday Superfood Granola Bars.
Thank you to Love Child Organics for sponsoring this post.
If there are any foods you're curious about finding a healthy swap for, please comment below! I would be happy to help.