How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

Ice Cream, Pizza, and Cookies – Oh My! How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

How To Get Kids To Eat HealthyHow to get kids to eat healthy? Let’s face it: sweet and savory will always win out over green and leafy when it comes to foods our kids will willingly eat. We want the best nutrition for our kids, but our daily pleas to “Eat your vegetables” seem to fall on deaf ears, or – worse yet – result in a tantrum or other power struggle.  Can we really convince our children to make smart food choices and eat healthy without seeming like a wicked witch?

Yes!  Here’s how to get kids to eat healthy (without unleashing any flying monkeys) by using these three tips:

  1. Control the cupboard by stocking it with healthy choices.  It’s much easier for your munchkins to make smart snacking decisions when the Lollipop Guild’s not in the house.  Keep your pantry full of your children’s favorite fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome foods right at eye level, and leave the sweet stuff on the store shelves.
  2. Offer options as you plan your meals, letting your kids have some say in what they’ll be eating.  Chicken or fish?  Peas or carrots?   Dorothy is less likely to sneak her veggies to Toto if she chose them herself.
  3. Avoid the arguments that lead to power struggles over food.  However much we beg, bribe, or outright demand, not even an “all powerful wizard” can force our kids to eat.  On the contrary, these efforts actually encourage our kids to wage dinnertime battles by rewarding them with attention.  Remove that payoff by letting your child know in advance that you won’t respond to his refusal to eat, and that you also won’t be giving him more food until the next scheduled snack or meal – even if it’s breakfast.  He won’t starve overnight, but next dinnertime, he will remember the consequence of not eating.

With a little planning and cooperation, your family will be on the Yellow-Brick Road to healthier eating habits and fewer mealtime fights – no trip to Oz required!

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About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.