Get Kids to Eat Healthy by Getting Them in the Kitchen

Get your kids to eat healthy by getting them in the kitchen!Creating healthy eating habits begins at home. Research shows that kids are more likely to try new foods when they are involved in the cooking process. For some parents this is a terrifying thought. Fear of giant messes, sharp objects, and hot surfaces may leave some parents apprehensive, but children of all ages can help in the kitchen.
Engage your toddlers during grocery store trips by talking about the shapes, colors, and sizes of different fruits and vegetables. In the kitchen, give them play foods or bowls and spoons to help “cook.” Your preschoolers are old enough to help measure ingredients as well as combine and stir ingredients together. You can also allow them to sprinkle in herbs and spices.
Encourage your older children to select a new fruit or vegetable at the supermarket and ask them to help wash and slice produce as you are prepping meals. They can also read and choose recipes from cookbooks or on websites for their family to enjoy.
How else can you get kids excited about cooking healthy foods? Consider a small vegetable garden. This can be as simple as placing a few seeds in a small pot inside. If space allows, look for a small outdoor space, and try planting tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, or carrots.
Although we are a few months away from planting season, now is the perfect time to get your kids brainstorming about the types of foods they would like to grow. During the summer and fall months, plan family outings to berry farms and apple orchards where they can pick their own fruit.

Written by: Heather Kanastab, RD, CDN

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