You have heard before that we (kids and parents alike) should be eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. But are your children getting the recommended dosage every day? In our fast-passed society, many kids find it easier to open a bag of chips then take the time to wash off the fruit in the bin of our refrigerator. Don’t be fooled by the snack foods in the health food store either. The majority of health food snacks are over-processed, containing minimal nutritional value.
How can we motivate our kids to adapt healthy eating habits? Here are some simple strategies that are sure to help. We have successfully implemented these strategies with our four-year old, Eli, and he is doing incredibly well meeting his nutritional needs. After tons of interviews on Raw Vegan Radio, I picked up these ideas along the way and am looking forward to passing them on to you.
- Blend up a fresh fruit breakfast smoothie every morning. Use your child’s favorite fruits to create a smoothie that is sure to become a breakfast treat. Be sure to use organic ingredients. Be sure to stock your freezer with organic frozen fruit. Use rice milk, almond milk, or soy milk as a base for added nutrition.
- Be sure to incorporate fruit and veggies into their lunch. If your child likes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try adding in some banana slices in place of the jelly. Include lettuce and tomato on their sandwiches.
- Make fun snacks. One idea is to get out an ice cube tray and spread pieces of broccoli throughout the container squares. Fill two of the squares with a dressing, like ranch or ketchup. Pretend play with your child that he/she is the “Jolly Green Giant” and is going to eat up the forest. Fresh juices are a great idea too. You can make their cup look fancy by using cocktail umbrellas and silly straws to make the drink fun to drink. Other great snacks include apple slices with peanut butter. Change it up using other nut butters, such as almond or cashew butter.
- Include a salad with dinner. Be sure to use a variety of different veggies so that your salad will be colorful and fun to eat. Try blending up your own dressing using apple cider vinegar, lemon, olive oil, and a bit of agave syrup for a healthy fresh delight.
- Healthy dessert is easy. If your child likes ice cream, try coconut ice cream as a healthy alternative. You can get creative by topping the ice cream with fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or mangos.
Photo credit: cc: SXC reneerusse