Try as we might, there are times when feeding our kids can feel complicated and exhausting. Making sure that they are getting all the right nutrients, spending time cooking and cleaning and meal planning can be overwhelming, and we are tempted to fall back on the easy solutions. Well, we are here to encourage you and reassure you that helping your children have fun when they are eating does not have to include dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets for three meals a day! There are ways to make nutritious food fun for your kids, and it is easy for you as a parent as well.
One of the most important pieces of advice that we can give parents when it comes to meal time is to choose your battles. While it is imperative for your child to have good nutrition for good physical, mental and oral health, it does not need to be a fight every day. If you are introducing new, healthier foods to your child, remember that they need to see a new food up to 10 times on their plate before they become accustomed to something new. In short, try it, and if at first it does not go over well, keep offering.
When preparing foods, use your imagination! Include fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of lean protein and whole grains and dairy in your child's diet, but make them fun! Try cutting cheeses into shapes with cookie cutters, or using fruits and vegetables to make landscapes on your child's plate. There are plenty of ideas online as well for making your plate with an artistic, fun flair.
Lastly, children model our behavior. If you want to teach your child healthy habits, it helps if they observe you practicing them. Brushing your teeth together, eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are all family practices. Give our office a call today and schedule cleanings for you and your child on the same day! We look forward to hearing from you.