It’s is never too early for you to start thinking about nutrition essentials for your kids. Involving them in the meal prepping process and creating an environment in the home where healthy eating is encouraged is a great way to get them started early with making healthy decisions.
Kids can be picky eaters, and forcing them to eat foods they dislike could backfire. Instead, consider introducing one healthy dish a week, along with familiar foods, and be a role model to your child by letting them see you trying healthier foods, as well.
Here are a few tips to guide your kids to eat healthier while avoiding the mealtime battles:
- Make it fun. Involve kids in the grocery shopping, and even let them pick out their own lunch bags. Letting children participate with meal prepping will give them a sense of buy-in and responsibility.
- Keep it healthy but tasty. Consider introducing smoothies with a mix of fruits and vegetables. Be sure to also include foods with calcium, iron, healthy fats and fiber to keep them nourished and full throughout the day.
- Portion control. Help your kids to manage their portions by measuring out fruits, vegetables and snacks in baggies. Not only will this help you to monitor how much food your child is eating, but it will also save you time in the morning when packing their lunch.
- Prepare for the snack attacks. After school, kids are usually looking for a snack. So, dedicate a section in the fridge or pantry for your kids’ favorite healthy treats so they can access them quickly.
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s Pediatric Heart Program offers registered dietitians as support for our patients and their families. Visit us at augustahealth.org/chog or call 706-664-0585 for more information.