Five ways to encourage your children to eat healthily

Children love fizzy drinks, sugar saturated sweets and a whole range of other unhealthy foods. Parenting can be hard work at the best of times but trying to persuade your children to eat well can be an uphill struggle. Rest assured that you are not alone and here are five suggestions that will help you win the fight against an unhealthy diet.

1. Fruit can be fun

One way in which parents can introduce their children to fruit and gardening at the same time is to encourage them to be responsible for their own fruit trees. If you direct them to the Ashridge website they’ll be able to choose which type of fruit tree they want to plant and then actually experience the joy of picking the fruit from their own tree in the autumn. You don’t just have to stick with apples and pears; try kiwi fruit or even figs. Those who don’t have a garden need not despair, many varieties of soft fruit can be grown in hanging baskets or on windowsills.

2. Cooking and eating together

Try and involve the kids in the preparation of meals. If you are busy all week and simply don’t have the time to cook, you could have some fun in the kitchen over the weekend. Make sure that your family eats together at least a couple of times a week. If your children are prone to wander off with a plateful of snacks, try and insist that they eat at a table. An article in The Daily Telegraph highlighted the fact that ‘eating together at mealtimes builds strong family bonds and reduces the likelihood of obesity.’ A nutritious meal should fill your children’s tummies so they don’t have any room for sweets and unhealthy snacks.

3. Veggie crisps

Open any magazine and you cannot fail to miss the popularity of crisps made from vegetables. If you introduce your children to this trend they’ll be eating beetroot, parsnips and carrots without even realising it. A win win situation. If you follow this recipe you can even make the crisps at home, thus saving a fortune and having fun at the same time.

4. Look to the internet

If you’re having a hard time trying to get your kids to eat healthily, then go online. Look out for Planet DOOF, a new type of computer game that promotes healthy eating and is also fun to play. If your kids won’t listen to you, they’ll probably follow the game and tell their friends all about it. This game and others can be found on Facebook and YouTube, so your children will be fashionable as well as healthy!

5. Make vegetables interesting

Soggy overcooked vegetables or limp lettuced sandwiches should be a thing of the past. Add pomegranate to salads as well as nuts and other fruit. Instead or serving plain courgettes, for example, why not whisk them up into a spicy puree with the addition of some chilli and garlic? It is possible to make vegetables look more appealing, by cutting them in different shapes and having a wide variety on offer. Point out that a diet that consists of fatty, over sweetened food can lead to spots and many other health problems.

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