Kids' Nutrition: 5 Tips For Feeding Your Kids!
There’s no denying it; supporting your kids in having great nutrition can be TOUGH. Whether you are feeding toddlers or teenagers, you’re navigating preferences, opinions and aversions...to name a few of the challenges. On top of this, there is an enormous amount of misinformation out there about nutrition, and the marketing of food geared towards kids is extremely misleading.
So what should our kids be eating? Well, ideally-they are eating the same way we are eating! In reality-parents have run out of lunch ideas, are exhausted by dinner time, and are going to serve what will be eaten. So I’m going to give you a few tips and tricks in selecting and serving foods for your children.
Beware of items that offer the “baby” or “kid” version. These items often have added sugar, and lack in the protein department. A great example is yogurt. While they-no doubt-taste great, the kid-specific yogurts don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. Instead-opt for Greek yogurt. Chobani Complete and Dannon Triple Zero Greek are great options (that come in a variety of flavors). You can also buy plain, and add your own fruit or fruit purees!
Keep pre-cut fruits and veggies handy. The snacks and foods marketed towards kids all have something in common...they are EASY to grab & go. If you want your child to eat more nutrition foods, you’ve got to make them very easy to access. Cut up cucumbers/peppers/carrots, and make individual portions of apple slices/berries/grapes/etc. readily available and on a shelf the kids can access, so they can easily grab them.
Get them involved in the process! Let your child assist you in grocery shopping by picking out a new fruit or veggie to try. Even better-have them pick out a recipe, and make it together!
Offer, offer, offer again. Think back to when you were a kid-was there a food you wouldn’t touch, that you now love? It can take up to TWELVE exposures to a food to decide if we like it or not! So if you’re child doesn’t like any vegetables-don’t stress. Continue to offer them, in a no-pressure environment, and they just may surprise you one day.
Be a role model! Exhibit the healthy habits you’d like to see your children adopt. Fill ½ of your plate up with veggies, ¼ plate lean protein and ¼ place healthy starch. Set their plate up the same way!
Make simple swaps!
-Banza chickpea pasta in place of regular pasta
-Whole grain bread for white
-Kids Rx bars for granola bars
-Protein Pancakes for Eggo waffles
-Homemade smoothie for juice
Most importantly; focus on making small, gradual improvements. A major overhaul creates more stress-for everyone! Instead, pick one or two things to incorporate this week and work on consistency with that. As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. Nutrition is the foundation of health, and in the midst of a pandemic, we all want to be the healthiest versions of ourselves-and want that for our children. If you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org