10 Tips for Getting Your Child to Eat Healthy Food

1. The Chicken Nuggets Principle

The Chicken Nuggets Principle is to make your child’s food dip-able. For example, if you’re going to feed them an apple, give them something to dip it in, for example some yoghurt or some cashew cream.

2. Don’t prejudge what they’ll like and not like.

For example, my 3 year old loves Japanese food!

3. Show yourself to be eating healthy food.

Kids tend to want to eat what their Mom eats.

4. Don’t let them get a taste for sugar, but don’t sweat their food fads too much.

Try not to let your child get a taste for sugar. However beyond that, don’t get too stressed if they go throw phases of refusing to eat or having very limited variety. If they’ve not been eating enough for more than a few days, focus on them eating enough rather than what they’re eating – sugary foods excluded.

5. Hide it under cheese or peanut sauce.

All adults know that almost any vegetable is delicious if it’s coated in cheese or peanut sauce. All your child to have vegetables, rice and rice noodles with cheese or peanut sauce.

6. Arrange for them to eat at other people’s houses.

If you have friends or play date parents who have more success in getting your child to try new foods, get them to go to dinner or lunch there. Ideally they should bring home a doggy bag so they also get used to eating the foods they tried out at home.

7. Traffic light sandwiches.

Make traffic light sandwiches with foods that are red, yellow/orange, and green. Use a small round cookie cuter to cut windows in the bread.

8. Make sure your child isn’t constipated.

Kids will often avoid eating if they’re having trouble going to the toilet. Who wants to eat if their bowels are packed solid with poos or if they know that expelling the food is going to be uncomfortable.

9. Make healthy versions of unhealthy food.

For example, low sugar froyo instead of icecream, popcorn with just a little salt/fat/icing sugar (or none), homemade chips or crisps, homemade chicken nuggets make out of better chicken etc.

10. Grow food at home.

Let your child have their own tomato plant, let them plant potatoes etc. Watch them become fascinated by the process of food growing before their eyes. Buy them their own watering can that they can use to water their plants.

photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin CC

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