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Ways to incorporate healthy foods into your kids day

They say monkey see, monkey do.

By Stuart Smithies, Owner at Brookvale

How often have we heard this quote, I find it is never truer than with kids, what they see us eat and drink they want, so that means it will be very hard for you to get your kids eat healthy food if you aren’t already eating them in front of them. So if you are struggling to get them to eat well start there. A great habit I’m in with my kids is the free woollies fruit for kids! How good is it, my three year old always grab one when we enter the shop and eats it on the way through the shop. 

Other strategies we can implement: 

  1. Prep your fruits as soon as you get home from the shop, how good does a platter of cut up fruit look! Our kids think so to, so slice up the watermelon and pineapple and prep it all as soon as you get home. You are more likely to offer it when your kids are hungry if already cut up, and generally kids want a snack they can eat straight away so have it ready.
  2. Get creative with meals. The more creative the meal is, the greater the variety of foods my kids eat. We make smiley-face pancakes and give food silly names. (Broccoli florets are "baby trees" or "dinosaur food.") Anything mini is always a hit too. I often use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which the children love.
  3. Disguise the taste of healthier foods. Add vegetables to a beef stew, for example, or mash carrots up with mashed potato, or add a sweet dip to slices of apple.
  4.  Let your kids pick the produce. It can be fun for kids to see all the different kinds of fruits and veggies available, and to pick our new ones or old favourites to try.
  5. Parents control the supply lines. You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Though kids will pester their parents for less nutritious foods, adults should be in charge when deciding which foods are regularly stocked in the house. Kids won't go hungry. They'll eat what's available in the cupboard and fridge at home. If their favorite snack isn't all that nutritious, you can still buy it once in a while, so they don't feel deprived.
  6. From the foods you offer, kids get to choose what they will eat or whether to eat at all. Kids need to have some say in the matter. Schedule regular meal and snack times. From the selections you offer, let them choose what to eat and how much of it they want. This may seem like a little too much freedom. But if you follow step five, your kids will be choosing only from the foods you buy and serve.
  7. Look at the week as a whole or the day as a whole and not just a single meal, if it's pizza for dinner on the weekend but the rest of the day has been great then overall the day is a good one food wise.

I also think it important that we can all indulge once in a while and the family all having some ice cream or chips watching a movie is crucial to bonding and making time for each other. So don’t be afraid of having that slightly unhealthy snack or meal, unlike us our children are also growing so will likely burn off all those extra calories anyway!

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