As the end of summer approaches, it’s a perfect time for families to encourage healthy eating habits for kids. With so many snack options, making nutritious choices can be a challenge. However, it’s the perfect time to create positive eating habits as your children prepare to return to school.

Tips to Encourage Kids to Reach for Healthier Options

  • Swap out sodas and juices for homemade fruit-infused water or iced tea. Infuse cucumber, lemon or mint slices for a flavorful and hydrating experience.
  • Assemble a snack board filled with colorful fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Snacking can be fun and nutritious by trying carrot sticks, hummus, raspberries, or almonds.
  • Keep your kids cool and hydrated with homemade popsicles. Blend watermelon, pineapple, and coconut milk for a refreshing treat.
  • Encourage picky eaters to try new foods by creating fun shapes. Transform vegetables into appealing shapes using cookie cutters, or make eating veggies fun by turning sweet potato fries into heart-shaped fries or cucumbers into star-shaped cutouts.
  • Let your kids participate in grocery shopping and cooking by visiting the farmer’s market or selecting produce from the grocery store. Involve them in the cooking process by having them wash and cut the fruits and vegetables. They are more likely to be curious and willing to try what they helped create.

“Gamify” Eating Healthy

By incorporating games and activities into your attempts to get your kids more interested in eating healthy, they’ll be more likely to try them out. Here are a few ideas that may make it fun and inspire your kiddos.

Food Tasting
  • Make trying new foods fun for kids by setting up a “food tasting” game. Blindfold your child and have them taste different fruits, vegetables, or dips. They can guess what they’re eating and share their thoughts. This game can help your child develop a sense of adventure and discover new flavors.
Food Passport Adventure
  • A “Food Passport Adventure” can also be a different way for your picky eater to embark on a culinary journey at home. Make a list of new foods, including fruits, vegetables, and exotic ingredients. Stamp their passport when your child tries a new food and likes it. Reward them with small incentives for reaching milestones, such as a special outing or a new kitchen gadget.
Color of the Week
  • Turn trying new foods into a colorful game by assigning each day of the week to a different color and challenge your child to find and try a new food that matches that color. Create a colorful chart to track their progress and celebrate every new food they try.
Build Your Own Food Station
  • Set up a “build your own” station for mealtime where kids can assemble their creations with a variety of healthy ingredients for tacos, salads, or wraps. Offer colorful vegetables, lean proteins, whole-grain tortillas, and sauces or dressings, allowing them to control what goes into their meals. Empowering them with this element of choice and creativity can make trying new foods more exciting.

As your kids get older and have more freedom to choose what they eat, encourage them to enjoy in their favorite treats in moderation while practicing the importance of balance and variety in their diet. 

Try this super yummy high-protein fluff dip as a healthy snack for your kiddos- it’s irresistible!

Amy loves you
Healthy Snacking
Amy Fox of Food and Mood Lab