How To Get Your Child To Enjoy Healthier Foods
It can be hard to get kids to try new foods or healthy food, especially if they are picky eaters. But unless you want to prepare separate meals each day, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and pizza can get a bit tiring. To make things worse, many foods that young eaters like aren’t the healthiest of choices due to high fat and carbohydrate concentrations.
So how can you add in some healthy food alternatives for your picky eater? We have some ideas that are sure to please.
Healthy Food Options for Your Pickiest Eaters
Sometimes, your kid’s food choices can leave you scratching your head wondering if they are destined for a diet of sugars and starches. But don’t fret. We know how hard it can be to offer healthy food choices when you have a picky eater on your hands. Here are some reasons that can help explain your child’s food preferences and why patience is key.
- Sometimes, picky eating comes from sensory issues. Certain textures can be off-putting to kids.
- Picky eating doesn’t necessarily come in one flavor. Some kids want foods rich in flavor, whereas others prefer blander options.
- The more you can avoid introducing your kids to sweets, the less likely they will want them in the future. So instead of stocking up the pantry with sugary treats, keep some tooth-friendly fruits on hand.
- Try making mealtime a pleasant, relaxing time that is part of your family routine. Kids rushed through their meals might be pickier than others, too, preferring what is familiar versus wanting to try something new. Layering in some fun banter about your day can also create great memories.
So while you wait for your child to develop a more sophisticated palate, the best option is to look for healthy food alternatives to sneak in here or there. Here are some of our favorites. And if these ideas don’t work, be sure to check out some of our tooth-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving. Or try some Christmas foods that your kids will love. After all, who said you can only eat holiday foods during certain times of the year?
5 Healthy Food Choices
1. Honey Roasted Carrots
We all know that carrots are chock full of potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin A, not to mention beta-carotene. But getting your young one to love carrots is an entirely different story. Try roasting carrots in a little bit of honey or brown sugar and see how quickly their taste buds light up.
2. Peanut Butter Toast With Berries
Most kids love strawberries, and that is great because strawberries contain malic acid, which helps whiten dental enamel. Though strawberries are red, eating them can help keep your child’s teeth free from stains. Adding some peanut butter to the mix makes for a fun snack. So pop some of your kid’s favorite bread into the toaster, slather on some peanut butter, and decorate with thinly sliced strawberries.
3. Sneaky Turkey Meatballs
We need to ensure our kids get enough protein too. Protein is integral for building and repairing muscles and providing energy to grow. And thankfully, most kids love meatballs. But if your picky eater will eat meatballs but not veggies, you might need to get creative and find a way to sneak those veggies in. These sneaky turkey meatballs include cauliflower and cabbage and are so tasty that we bet your kids will be asking for more.
4. Ground Turkey Burgers
If the sneaky turkey meatballs were a hit, ground turkey burgers might be just as popular with your picky eater. Pack your turkey burgers with flavor by mixing in chopped celery, onions, and dried oregano. And since ground turkey is generally lower in saturated fat than ground beef, it is a great choice for the burger lover in your house.
5. Tooth-Friendly Fruit Medley
Fruit is a great snack for picky eaters. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids should eat two to three cups each of fruit and vegetables per day. Some fruits and vegetables are better for your kid’s teeth than others, though, so if you are wondering about the best fruits for a fruit medley, stick to strawberries, apples, and oranges. These fruits can help clean teeth and increase salivation, thus helping neutralize the acids left behind. If your kid likes peanut butter, add some ants on a log to the fruit medley tray for some fun variety. Even better, let your child decorate the peanut-butter-coated celery with raisins or blueberries.
Prevent tooth decay with healthy food alternatives for kids.
As parents, one of our responsibilities is to help our kids maintain good oral health and prevent tooth decay. That gets much easier when your kids are willing to try new foods. So if you have a picky eater, some creativity might be in order. But trust us, experimenting with healthy food alternatives will pay off. Not only will you get more variety in your diet, but your kid will also have the opportunity to explore new flavors. Need more healthy food alternatives? Be sure to ask for more ideas at your kid’s next dental appointment.