My kids are just like your kids. If I give them the choice between cookies and fruit for dessert, they will choose the cookies. If I give them the choice between fries or broccoli as a side, they will chose the fries. That’s why I am deliberate and strategic to train them to choose healthy food when faced with a choice.
Today, I’m offering, 22 strategies I use in my own home to teach my kids to love healthy food. Mix and match as you see fit.
- Do it yourself: The best way to teach your kids how to choose healthy food is to live by example.
- Don’t keep junk in the house, including soda—if you don’t buy it, it won’t be there to eat. Period.
- If your child asks for a snack, tell them they need to eat a fruit or veggie first. If it’s close to dinner, serve the fruit or veggie portion of the dinner as the snack.
- Make dessert something special—not something you do nightly. Take them out for ice cream after their baseball game. Bake cookies on Saturday. Go out for a shake when grade cards come out.
- Let them choose between soda or dessert at a restaurant, but not both.
- Pack school lunches most days.
- When offering new healthy food, tell them “You don’t need to taste it, just let it sit on your plate.”
- Offer money to taste a new food. Yep. I have paid my kids a quarter or a dollar to taste something and I’m not ashamed.
- Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal and make them pick two.
- Buy the healthy food they like.
- Never say no to seconds on veggies.
- Don’t push meat and dairy.
- Teach your kids to read labels.
- Teach them to be wise about advertising.
- Serve smoothies.
- Let them order off the adult menu.
- Don’t let the order the fries as their side—make them get a fruit or veggie instead.
- Make it your goal in life to get your kid to love salad.
- Serve water with every meal.
- Reserve special junk food for birthdays, vacations, and holidays.
- Make your home a healthy food zone.
- Connect the dots for them for how healthy food and junk affects how they feel.
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Power of a Praying Parent, by Stormie Omartian (affiliate link)
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