Pre-school children are notorious for expressing their opinions. It’s a normal part of growing up. Eating doesn’t have to be a battle of wills. Understanding how to encourage a child to eat vegetables will make dinnertime a pleasurable family experience.
Teaching Healthy Eating to Preschoolers
At Brevard Health Alliance, we believe that leading by example is the best way to influence young children. As adults, it’s easy to grab something quick to eat in a pinch, but we can’t forget that little eyes are always watching – even when we eat.
Allowing kids to help prepare different dips to try on vegetables gets them excited about the process. Kids tend to prefer “snacking” versus “meals”, so even changing your meal to resemble that of a snack tray or “experiment” can disarm them.
Celebrate the small victories. If your children try but do not like a particular vegetable, praise them for trying something new! This is a big step in discovering what healthy foods will best serve their little palates.
Healthy Eating Facts for Kids
There are many food activities for kids you can try. The important thing is that you let your kids have fun playing with vegetables! Make pictures using bell peppers for rainbows and broccoli trees. Have your preschooler recall what makes a balanced diet and create a healthy plate, so they can learn in a fun way.
Give your child a choice. Small children want to be able to make a decision for themselves. Rather than making their decision “eat vegetables or don’t,” offer different vegetables and allow them to pick. Every other day, switch the options to ensure they’re getting a well-rounded variety.
Instilling healthy habits starts at a young age. For more information or nutritional guidance, contact us at Brevard Health Alliance.