Whether or not your child is suffering from health issues, forming healthy habits from a young age is so important! We as parents want to set our children up for success in all areas and that includes physically.
However, I know all too well how difficult that can be. Picky eaters are no joke!! Sometimes it might seem easier to just give kids what they want when it comes to food and drink, rather than deal with the tantrum that might come with insisting they eat healthier. I’ve definitely felt this way before! When my son used to start crying at just the idea of trying out a new food, I used to give in. It’s tough! No one I know likes to make their kids upset.
But—allowing our kids to eat terribly just because it’ll keep them happy isn’t doing them any good in the long run. I learned that through personal experience. This past year, it was time to make a change—why let my kids eat poorly when I’m so careful about what I put into my own body? I implemented some diet changes with my kids and the results have been amazing. My son lost weight, has more energy, and the weird health issue he’d been having seems to have gone away completely.
For anyone else out there struggling to get their kids eating healthier, I feel your pain. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. They may not work for every kid, but they worked for mine!
- Talk to your kid(s) about WHY you want them to eat healthier; explain it in a kind, educational way and get their agreement and willingness to cut certain foods out and add certain foods in (ahem, veggies). This was the first thing I did with my son Landon. I sat him down and we just talked about why we should try cutting dairy, wheat, and sugar out of his diet, why we should try to add in more fresh fruits and veggies, etc. He listened to what I had to say, thought about it, and agreed that it was needed. He was sick of taking time off school to go to doctors, so he was surprisingly willing to give this diet change a try! By getting his agreement in advance, I wasn’t constantly fighting him about what his taste buds wanted to eat versus what he should eat. Instead, it made it as simple as finding things he’d enjoy eating that were still clean as well as dairy, wheat, and sugar free.
- Consider using a Greens supplement. If your kids are anything like mine, then they’re not the biggest fans of eating their vegetables… An easy way to help beef up their intake of veggies is with a greens supplement! Bonus points if it actually tastes good. The My Adventure to Fit Greens Formula has been kid-approved by my kids as well as a few of the other Meal Plan Babes’ kids. It’s made with almost entirely organic veggies, a natural apple-banana flavor, and sweetened with stevia. Free of junk and fillers, it’s a quick, easy (and tasty!) way to boost your kids’ intake of vegetables. You can order it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/705704374/pre-order-greens-supplement-apple-banana?ref=landingpage_similar_listing_top-1
- Find snacks/meals that your kids enjoy eating but that are made with clean ingredients. You should be able to find an abundance of healthy snacks for kids at your local health food store. These days, a lot of the regular grocery stores are stocking healthier options, too. A few brands we like are Amy’s, Annie’s, Simple Mills, Vegan Rob’s, Honest Kids, Glutino, Kind bars, and more.
- Find the fruits and veggies your kids like and/or serve them in a way they’ll enjoy eating. This is obviously going to vary from kid to kid, but mine personally really like cuties (those little, easy-to-peel oranges), grapes, berries, bananas, and more. When they’re in season, cotton candy grapes are a hit with every kid I’ve ever met—they taste just like cotton candy, but are just grapes! Freeze them for a delicious summer treat. Veggies are a little harder, but still totally doable. We do things like: carrot sticks, sometimes with hummus or dairy-free ranch, cooked broccoli with a little daiya vegan cheese sprinkled on top, chips with guacamole or mild salsa, seasoned kale chips, carrot chips or “fries,” veggie straws, cucumber slices, and more.
It feels so amazing, having the whole family eating clean and knowing that it’s making a big difference in my kids’ health. I hope these tips and tricks help you do the same with your kids! Together, we can make the world a healthier place, starting with ourselves and our families! <3