As parents we want to ensure that our children are getting all the of nutrients they need to live a happy, healthy life. But if your little one is particular about what he or she eats it can be difficult to encourage healthy, diverse eating.
Make Eating Healthy Fun
Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Carrots. If these foods aren’t appealing to your child, there are ways to help them eat veggies – and enjoy them. We’re big fans of healthy and delicious smoothies that blend veggies with fruit. This mango and carrot smoothie from In It For The Long Run boasts a sweet taste and smooth texture that could also be made into a freezer pop. If the ginger is too adventurous, you can opt to exclude it.
Mango and Carrot Smoothie
- 1 Cup of Frozen Mango
- 1 Frozen Banana
- ⅔ Cup of Shredded Carrots
- 1 tsp of powdered ginger (or 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger)
- ½ Cup of Coconut Water (adjust based on personal preference)
- Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
Another idea we love is sneaking veggies into baked goods. You heard right. Nutritious, delicious vegetables hidden in your little one’s favorite comfort food.
Give chocolate pudding a creamy, healthy boost with avocados. This recipe from The Pretty Bee is dairy-free and full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. It’s leaps and bounds healthier than store-bought pudding. We think it’s tastier, too.
Healthy Avocado Chocolate Pudding
- 1 medium avocado, ripe
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons honey for Paleo diet OR 2 Tablespoons agave nectar for vegans
- 6 Tablespoons almond milk
- optional: pistachios or other nut for topping
- Cut open the avocado and scoop out the pit. Cut it into large chunks and put in the blender.
- Add the cocoa, honey or agave, and almond milk. Blend, starting on low and then moving to high speed until it is smooth.
- If the avocado is larger, you will need a bit more of each ingredient. If it is too thick, drizzle in a bit more almond milk. Add more cocoa or honey or agave to taste.
- Refrigerate the pudding and serve cold.
Visit Hero’s Picky Eater Recipe Guide for more delicious recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner (it’s free to download).
Lead By Example
Children often mimic what parents do. If your toddler has to eat broccoli but mom never does, perhaps they won’t want to either. When eating healthy foods, do so enthusiastically. Talk about how you’re enjoying the taste and texture of the food and that you feel energetic after eating it. Children are like adults: If they aren’t given a clear reason to do something, they might choose not to do it. Explain the benefits of healthy eating to your child. Tell them that fiber will help them feel regular and that spinach and mushrooms contain protein that will help them be strong and healthy. Tell them carrots will help give them ‘powerful’ eyesight. And, of course, give them praise when they try new foods. Don’t give up if they’re unwilling to try unfamiliar foods right away. It’s been reported that kids need to try foods over seven times before acquiring a taste for them. Don’t be pushy, but certainly don’t give up after a couple of attempts.
Let Your Child Be A Decision-Maker
Take your child to your local farmers market and tell them that they get to pick out the fruits and vegetables. When choosing the produce, explain what it is and how you’ll work together to make a tasty dish of it later. When you’re ready to prepare the meal, let your child assume the role of sous chef. Present the food to your family and let everyone know that your little one picked the produce and helped create the amazing, healthy dinner. Develop a sense of pride around healthy habits.
Share your favorite tip for healthy eating in the comments section and we’ll send you a free sample of our Yummi Bears vitamins – formulated especially for picky eaters!