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22 Strategies to Help Your Kids Eat Healthy Food

The Balanced MomCast with Sandy Cooper

Release Date: 07/29/2021

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My kids are just like your kids. If I give them the choice between cookies and fruit for dessert, they will choose the cookies. That's why I am deliberate and strategic to train them to choose healthy food when faced with a choice. Today, I'm replaying an episode that originally aired in May 2019, where I offered 22 strategies I use in my own home to teach my kids to love healthy food. Mix and match as you see fit.  

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My kids are just like your kids. If I give them the choice between cookies and fruit for dessert, they will choose the cookies. That's why I am deliberate and strategic to train them to choose healthy food when faced with a choice. Today, as part of my Summer Series Replay, I'm replaying an episode that originally aired in May 2019, where I offered 22 strategies I use in my own home to teach my kids to love healthy food. Mix and match as you see fit.  

  1. Do it yourself: The best way to teach your kids how to choose healthy food is to live by example.
  2. Don’t keep junk in the house, including soda—if you don’t buy it, it won’t be there to eat. Period.
  3. If your child asks for a snack, tell them they need to eat a fruit or veggie first. If it’s close to dinner, serve the fruit or veggie portion of the dinner as the snack.
  4. Make dessert something special—not something you do nightly. Take them out for ice cream after their baseball game. Bake cookies on Saturday. Go out for a shake when grade cards come out.
  5. Let them choose between soda or dessert at a restaurant, but not both.
  6. Pack school lunches most days.
  7. When offering new healthy food, tell them “You don’t need to taste it, just let it sit on your plate.”  
  8. Offer money to taste a new food. Yep. I have paid my kids a quarter or a dollar to taste something and I'm not ashamed.
  9. Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal and make them pick two.
  10. Buy the healthy food they like.
  11. Never say no to seconds on veggies.
  12. Don’t push meat and dairy.
  13. Teach your kids to read labels.  
  14. Teach them to be wise about advertising.
  15. Serve smoothies. 
  16. Let them order off the adult menu. 
  17. Don’t let them order the fries as their side—make them get a fruit or veggie instead.
  18. Make it your goal in life to get your kid to love salad.
  19. Serve water with every meal.  
  20. Reserve special junk food for birthdays, vacations, and holidays.
  21. Make your home a healthy food zone.  
  22. Connect the dots for them for how healthy food and junk affects how they feel.  

 

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