As your child grows and develops, it is crucial that they are meeting their nutritional needs. However, it can be difficult to get your child to eat their fruits and vegetables, especially if they are a picky eater. Read on for 5 ways to make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need in their diet.
Talk to Their Pediatrician
If you are worried your child is not getting enough nutrients, you may want to bring them in to see their pediatrician. Their doctor can let you know if your concerns are valid and can give you ways to add these nutrients into their diet. If you do not currently have a pediatrician with nutritional knowledge, try searching ‘Pediatrician Plattsburgh NY’ or with your location to find a list of providers in your area. From there, you can look for one that specializes in nutritional help for children. Having a nutrition consultant can be especially beneficial if you do not have a lot of knowledge about nutrition yourself.
Be a Good Role Model
One of the best ways to get your child to eat healthier is to model healthy eating in front of them. Your child watching how you eat will set them up for how their relationship with food will be for the rest of their life. It is important to show them how to eat healthy but how to also enjoy treats and create a good balance. If they see their parents eating junk food all the time they will likely want to eat junk food as well.
Limit Processed Foods
Although it can be tempting to give them processed, store bought food due to convenience, what they need is more nutrient dense foods. These processed foods are fine in moderation, but they should be limited whenever possible. Planning ahead and meal prepping can limit the amount of processed foods you have to give them. One of the main ways to discourage them from eating processed chips and cookies is to limit the amount of them in the house. This way you can save them to only have them as a special treat when you are out.
Serve Fruits and Vegetables
It can be hard to get your child to eat all the fruits and vegetables you serve them. Not every child is going to like eating their broccoli or brussel sprouts with dinner. Try offering your child different vegetables that are prepared in different ways. They may like eating certain vegetables only prepared and cooked a certain way and enjoy eating other ones raw. Encourage your child to reach for fruit or vegetables when they are looking for a snack. One way to help this is to leave fruit and vegetables in the fridge that are already washed and cut up. This way they are as easy for them to reach for as a candy bar.
Involve Them In the Meal Planning Process
One of the best ways to get them excited about eating a balanced meal is to let them get involved in the meal planning process. Asking them what they want for dinner and then getting them to cook it with you teaches them a life skill as well as it being a good family bonding activity. If they say they want pizza for dinner you can work together to create a healthier version of it and serve it with a vegetable dish of their choice.
It can be hard to get your child to eat healthy all the time, especially with so many unhealthy choices out there. However, working with your child to figure out what types of healthy foods they enjoy will help to create a balanced relationship with food. Teaching your child now the tools they need to eat healthy will set them up for a healthy rest of their life.