With childhood obesity, autism and other childhood disorders on the rise, everyone from doctors to teachers and parents are seeking solutions for better health. At the most basic level, everyone can agree that kids can benefit from eating healthier. Truth is, with all the glitzy candy and processed foods competing for your kids’ attention how do you get them to eat healthy meals? Over the years, we’ve found many solutions, but we also salute the creative parents who’ve shared their tips for making healthy food for kids. Here are 7 powerful ways to get your kids to eat healthy:
1. Make new twists on old favorites.
Think about the foods your kids love and make something that tastes and looks similar, but uses different ingredients. Body Ecology parent, Vicki Hartzog’s teenage daughter, Tasha, made her favoritecoffee cake by substituting butter with ghee, processed flour with quinoa flour and sugar with Lakanto. With a little practice, you might find it easier than you think to make yummy, healthy food for kids.
2. Be creative.
Use some of those “tricks” being used by advertisers to make things sound exciting to kids. One ingenious Body Ecology mom made pasta out of zucchini and called them “good luck noodles” because of their green color. Let’s face it, kids tend to gravitate toward the fun wrappings and funny names on packaged foods, so if you are making pumpkin soup, you might call it “Halloween Pumpkin soup.” Another trick for making healthy food for kids is creating fun shapes. A turning slicer is a unique little gadget that lets you make curly “pasta-like” shapes out of carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and other vegetables in just minutes! Or make professional looking garnishes and pizza toppings out of just about any vegetable. Your kids may just find excitement in eating vegetables again.
3. Take your time.
If your kids are used to eating candy and chips, it may take time to get their taste buds to acclimate to healthier foods…especially those with a sour taste…like our fermented foods and beverages. Instead of rushing it, remember the Step By Step Principle…consider taking it slow and building over time. Trust that every small step you take toward healthy eating will have big rewards over a lifetime. Add some new foods into those “old favorites” a little at a time and see what happens. One clever Body Ecology parent, Diane Farr , added one teaspoon of Young Coconut Kefir to her son, Thomas’ regular “junky” juice and continued to increase the amount until he was drinking one to two cups of Young Coconut Kefir per day! And loving it, by the way. Soon juice wasn’t even needed.
4. Arm yourself with recipes.
Gather up some healthy recipes and experiment until you find the ones your kids take a liking too. Make small amounts and have “taste tests” with your kids, giving an award to the recipe your kids like the best. (Maybe a gold star on the recipe card and a special place in that recipe file box. Definitely do keep a file with all of the award winners close on hand. You can find delicious recipes for kids transitioning into the Body Ecology Way of Life in our Lakanto Cookbook, which is chock full of healthy and delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts. They were designed to make transitioning onto The Diet much easier…so please use them as inspiration for your own ideas.
5. Practice the art of camouflage
Sometimes kids won’t eat a food because of how it looks or sounds, but they are actually fine with the taste. Fermented foods and drinks are full of healthy benefits…but they may seem difficult to add to a child’s diet. The good news is that many Body Ecology parents have had success with the art of camouflage. Clever Body Ecololgy mom, Jennifer Boddie, got her kids to eat cultured vegetables by blending them into salad dressings. Other parents make fruit smoothies or vegetable smoothies as a fun alternative to milk shakes. Smoothies are a great way to include probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks first thing in the morning. Probiotics are getting a lot of attention these days because they help to boost immunity, build energy and aid digestion – all things today’s kids need to stay slim and healthy. Passion Fruit Biotic is our latest solution to providing a probiotic-rich drink that tastes delightfully sweet right from the bottle.
6. Include your kids.
Encourage your kids to become involved in choosing and making healthy meals. Conscious parent and Body Ecology mom, Meg Brown shares her tips for getting your kids involved in healthy eating. The fringe benefit is that it can help kids build their self esteem!
7. Keep it simple and have fun!
Changing habits and making meals can feel daunting when they are complicated and full of too many steps. Focus on keeping it simple. Learn the 7 healthy eating principles of Body Ecology slowly, at your own pace. Focus on picking the easiest step, the easiest meal and maybe just one meal per day to begin. Above all, enjoy the journey. When it comes right down to it, kids love to have fun, so if we’re having fun, they can’t help but feel the benefits. When you take a playful, kid-like approach to helping your kids eat healthy, it can be as good for you as it is for them!