One of the questions I get the most as a health coach and parent is how to get kids to eat nourishing foods.
There are so many different types of advice out there. I’ve done lots of research and trial and error with my own two children.
How to get kids to eat nourishing foods
Start early | Like as soon as they can eat. 6 months. Baby led weaning was my method but pureed is perfectly okay too. Just try to mix real food in there as soon as you are comfortable. Even if they lick or throw it, that is still exposure.
Exposure | You can’t give up and say they don’t like a certain food after 3 or 4 times. Just simply have the mindset of “they are learning to like it.” Keep exposing it until they turn 18 years old lolol. I’m not kidding though.
Grocery Shopping |Turning food shopping and home cooking into a family affair after school or on the weekends, is a great way to encourage kids to eat nourishing foods. Even though it might seem easier to go to the grocery store without them, children learn at the grocery store by smelling, looking, touching and asking about specific foods. Children who are involved in the shopping process are more likely to eat and help prepare the food at home. It is also an opportunity to teach them about healthier choices.
Home Cooking | When they help you in the cooking process, it boosts their confidence, it encourages family bonding and children naturally learn through hands on experience. Children are also more like to eat what they make. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that children engaged in tactile experiences, such as handling foods, have less food fear and greater acceptance of eating a variety of foods. As we know, meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients, fewer calories, chemicals and sweeteners than pre-packaged foods and restaurant meals (and are also cheaper). Have patience. Know there will be a lot of cleanup but it’s a short temporary mess that will reap rewards in the future.
Role Modeling | Children learn eating behaviors from their parents. Being a good example is a great way to encourage nutritious eating. Let them see you pick and apple instead of a bag of chips because believe it or not they are always watching.
Routine | Creating a healthy routine is vital so you can create healthy habits. Cook a nutritious breakfast before school, make a healthy lunch the night before so you are not rushed in the morning. Prioritize family dinners without screens. Instead of relying on the convenience of fast food or microwaveable dinners.
No matter how busy life gets, you can still make time for it its just all about prioritizing it.
Health coaching to live a longer & healthier life with Alejandra at Living Well Co.