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year old and 5 year old are constantly asking me if it is snack time.
While I try my hardest to encourage healthy eating, there are some
days when I feel like all they want are sugary cereals, candy and
cookies. Getting your preschoolers to eat fruit and vegetables isn't
always easy, yet my girlfriend always seems to have children that
munch on carrot sticks and broccoli pieces daily without complain.
This always leaves me wondering...”What am I doing wrong?” What
are some ways you encourage your children to eat healthy? Do you
limit their junk food each day or only when it gets out of hand? Do
you have a favorite healthy snack that your kids love?
In private practice, I constantly hear that my patients are eating junk food. Most patients have high cholesterOl and are overweight, which can lead to heart diease, diabetes, hypertension, and poor immunity. This can spill over into adulthood, which can lead to an early demise. If your child doesn't prefer eating vegetables, try a vegetable juice. Avoid fruit juice at all costs. If your child must have juice, dilute it with lots of water to increase their H20 consumption, which will help maintain a healthy body. Try blending fruits into a homemade smoothie. Buying smoothies from a store will most likely contain too much sugar. Try giving carrots, broccoli, and celery with a salad dressing, such as ranch. This makes them much better-tasting! If you have junk food in the house, your children will eat it. If your child never tasted a sugary cereal, he/she won't know what it tastes like to want it. Avoid soda, as seltzer is the beverage of choice for kids who like soda and must cut down.
Hello, yeah, is not easy, takes time but eventually, they will learn to eat whatever choices you give them. Have you tried oatmeal? My kids love the stawberry one and blueberry. I usually mix one packet with half a banana (for my 6 year old, and 1/4 banana for and the one year old), or other fruits. Try also to give them veggies such as baby carrots, celery, or cucumber slices, but give them the choice to dip it in their favorite dressing. You are in control, so write down as many healthy but good looking choices as you can and let them decide, but make it clear that they can pick any of those, or NO SNACKS AT ALL. More ideas? mix the fruit with low fat or fat free yougurt, or yogurt with cereal (special K or KIX are good choices). Smoothies made with fruit and low fat (and some veggies too, just do not let them know they are in the smoothie!!!). Carrots mix good with fruit. Hope it helps, let me know...
My oldest is special needs and it is hard to get him to eat the right foods. So I give him what I want him to eat like peas or broccoli. Then when he is done, he can eat what he wants which is usually a sandwich or pasta. But I keep the veggie servings larger and what he wants smaller servings so he fills up on the good food. Over time he has been able to eat more and more food without complaining. But I must say there have been many days where he has gone hungry because he wouldn't eat what i gave him. I also found for my kids the store cereals were too sugary and not filling for them. They eat regular oatmeal, cream of wheat, or pancakes in the morning and they last a lot longer then if they eat a bowl of cheerios.
My 4 yr old had some of these issues as well because at grandma's he gets whatever he wants as far as snacks go. I give him half water and half fruit juice because that's what my sons pedi. told me to do when he was younger and i still do it that way now. my biggest problem is what he likes changes almost daily. So i try and keep heathly snack around that i know he likes. Fruit snacks, Dunk'ems (crackers that come with a cheese spread), Ritz crackers, and String cheese are some of his favorites. I can sometimes get him to eat veggies if i give him ranch to dip them in (his favorite dressing) My husband and i also decided that we were just not going to buy all the junk food that we used to before we had our son. I still get tortia chips and salsa (they are healthy) for my husband and any candy we have gets hidden in our room and only one piece comes out at a time and maybe once a week.