Getting kids on board the clean eating train isn’t always easy. Eating healthy and getting plenty of physical activity is SO very important for their growth and development, though.
When I changed my lifestyle and started to eat clean and lean foods my oldest two kids didn’t appreciate the change so much. They have since come around, thankfully. Their taste buds have changed and matured and often enjoy new foods (at the very least they’re willing to give them a try) and that is a HUGE win as far as I’m concerned.
Here are some tips that really helped me to change the kids’ eating habits and got them to eat and enjoy eating clean and lean with me.
1. Lead by example – probably one of the most important ones. You can’t expect them to want fruits and veggies if you are eating and/or buying chips and cookies.
2. Make it fun and colorful. We eat with our eyes too, not only our mouths. If the food is visually appealing it is funny 1. how much more likely we are to want to eat it and 2. how much tastier it seems to be also!
3. Let them help. Get them involved in the kitchen. Teach them how to wash the produce, use a knife, stir the soup, saute the vegetables, etc. Actually, get them involved in the whole process … which leads me into #’s 4 & 5.
4. Give them a choice. Give them two healthy options and let them choose what they’d rather have for dinner, snack, breakfast, etc. If they have a choice it helps them feel empowered plus they are twice as likely to eat the food and enjoy it.
5. Take them with you to the grocery store. If I’m being honest here it is way too much for me to take all of my kids to the store (it brings out the crazy mom and nobody likes that). So in my house, we take turns who gets to go shopping with mom. They usually enjoy the process and are happy to have some one on one time with me. This is a great time to also teach them how to pick fresh ripe produce. Even the older kids like to put the groceries in the cart and put them on the conveyer belt.
6. Make it a competition. If your kids are competitive you could make up a friendly game to help motivate them. They cold keep track of how much produce they ate throughout the day or who came the closest to eating a whole rainbow of colors, etc.
7. Bonus tip …. Make activity fun! Being active and “exercising” doesn’t have to be boring or even done at the gym.
What about any of you … Do you have tips that worked for your family? Questions about any of my tips? Maybe you would like some assistance on a particular aspect of getting your kids to eat clean.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Wishing you well in your Clean Eating Endeavors!