By, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco.
Let’s face it: Palate training ain’t always easy. While every tiny human has the ability to grow up into a veritable gourmand, it can sometimes be a challenge to convince those developing taste buds that the roasted beets really do taste amazing.
But don’t throw in the towel yet! Here are 6 ways to help make healthy eating more appealing to kids:
As in, from those very first bites. Babies who are raised on homemade baby food actually eat more fruits and vegetables later on in life—without anyone having to pretend their spoon is an airplane. Get the good habits started with their very first foods, and they’ll grow up craving goodness.
Get kids involved in their food.
Whether it’s helping to grow their salad in the garden or assisting you as you prep dinner each night, kids are more amenable to food they’ve had a hand in. Plant a vegetable garden or indoor herb and microgreen plants to teach them about the source of the healthiest food. When you cook, let them add seasonings and help wash produce. They’ll be proud to eat what they’ve made.
Give vegetables first billing.
Getting your child to eat healthier can be as simple as striking when their appetite is strongest. Start out the meal with a fruit or vegetable course—studies have shown it actually makes kids 2.5 times more likely to eat them.
Try something new.
Don’t get discouraged if your baby didn’t like her butternut squash pureed. As her eating skills develop, serve it as a finger food or in a soup with different spices. It could be she likes the flavor after all!
Change your definition of feeding success.
If your toddler doesn’t clean his plate every time you serve a new vegetable, don’t stress. One bite is all you need. One bite introduces a new flavor. One bite is the first step in training their palate. One bite means you did it! Way to go!
Set the example.
Besides just cooking healthy meals together, give your kids plenty of opportunities to see you making nutritious food choices too. Demonstrating healthy eating is one of the best ways to create a lasting habit for life.