5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

February is American Heart Health Month and a good time to look at, how as parents, we can help our kids to get a healthy diet, one that will shape the way they view food in their adult life. There is a general  five a day rule says that everyone should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. That  generally means five portions of fruit and vegetables combined, not five of each one. By trying to keep to this basic rule, you can ensure that your kids are getting all the nutrients they need in order to grow up healthy and strong.

Cooking for children, as any parent will know, is no easy task. They all have their certain likes and dislikes, and probably a whole list of things they absolutely won’t touch. Unfortunately, all too often, the things kids don’t like are what they probably need the most. It’s always that piece of broccoli or carrot  that gets pushed around the dish.

If you are having a hard time incorporating fruit and vegetables into your child’s diet in a way that they enjoy, don’t despair just yet. A few small modifications to the way you prepare food can make all the difference. Here are a few tips that will help you make fruits and vegetables more appealing to your child.

1.Milkshakes and Smoothies

When it comes to fruit, you will have an easier time getting your five-year-old to drink a glass of banana milkshake or peach smoothie than to eat the fruit on its own. Because these drinks are meant to be healthy, you don’t want to add much sugar, so it’s best to choose naturally sweet fruits like blackberries, bananas, melons, cherries, red apples and tangerines.

2. Have Fun with Food

When mealtimes roll around, try not to make a big deal out of telling a child to eat their vegetables, as this will only make them focus on it. Prepare your child’s plate before they sit down at the table. This allows you to arrange the food in an attractive or even humorous way. A plate of peas and carrots could be turned into a smiley face, and a vegetable with a funny name like Zucchini or Bok Choy can be distracting and amusing.

3. Disguise the Vegetables

If your child has a difficult time eating vegetables, it may just be because he or she doesn’t like the look of them. Find ways to use vegetables in meals without your child even noticing that they are there. For example, thin slices of aubergine can be hidden in a cheesy piece of Lasagne, while finely grated carrots can easily be disguised in a fresh tomato sauce or soup.

4. Make Snacks Healthier

If your child often takes snacks along to school, make sure that you incorporate some fruits or vegetables rather than just handing them a bag of crisps. Make them tasty a fruit salad that they can take along in a Tupperware container. Just be sure not to use fruits that will go brown soon after they are chopped, such as apples or bananas, as this will put your child off.

5. Try New Things

Even with these tips, it may take some time before you figure out the best way to prepare fruits and vegetables for your child. Some kids may like stir fried vegetables; others may like them baked, while others may prefer them raw with a tasty dressing. Whatever you do, don’t get stuck in a rut. Mix it up every so often with new kid friendly recipes, and different types of fruits and vegetables.

These are just a few ideas for improving your child’s diet, but there are plenty more out there, and by using your own creativity you should be able to come up variations of your own that work for you and your family. Your child’s diet today will determine how healthy he or she will be in the future, so don’t underestimate the importance of getting your five a day.

A guest post from Samantha Harvey on behalf of Tasty Online Bingo – home to some great recipes and bingo promotions.
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