Nutrition Hacks Your Kids Will Love

The clock has struck mealtime. What’s on the menu? A question that can cause dread if you’re housing some picky little eaters or ones that accustomed to a less-than-healthy diet. It can seem daunting at first as sometimes there simultaneously seems to be too many and too little options for food when it comes to putting together a wholesome, nutritious meal.

Not to worry! We’re here to provide nutritional hacks dedicated entirely to helping you develop good food habits for your growing child. These nutritional hacks will not only help build the foundation for healthy habits once they grow into adults but will also benefit the whole family, including you!

Switching to Healthier Alternatives

This is a great place to start and benefits the whole family. Focus on encouraging and offering healthier alternatives rather than placing restrictions.

Here are some healthy alternatives you can swap in for breakfast, snacks, and sweets to give them a boost in nutrition and limit the junk intake of your child.

If You Add It They Will Come… Eat!

Blend it, shake it up, mix it in.

There isn’t anything taboo here when it comes to adding nutritious additions to enrich a dish with a more balanced selection. With any choice you pick, remember to go slowly with introducing new dietary changes.

Add healthy additions to these flexible foods!

  • Sandwiches
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Salad
  • Pizza
  • Pancakes or Waffles
  • Smoothies or Sakes
  • Macaroni and Cheese

Remember not to get too fixated on adding specific foods or making sure they’re eating a certain amount of something. The point is to ensure your child’s overall diet is well-rounded and accounted for.

Drop a Little Color into the Mix

Try adding a bit of food colouring to certain baked goods or breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles.

Take it a step further during holidays and events by matching the colours to their themes such as red and green for Christmas or orange and black for Halloween.

Lower Sugar Intake

Switching out processed or added sugar products for a healthier choice. Over time, the less processed sugar your child consumes, the less they’ll crave it.

It’s astonishing how many products, such as processed foods, include an excess of sugar until you finally start checking the nutritional label. Sometimes this one boils down to checking ingredients and making comparisons between items to find the ones with almost no or zero added sugar.

Remember to take into account the nutritional benefits of foods that contain sugar. To eliminate sugar would deprive your child of necessary nutrients found in wholesome, healthy choices like fruits, grains, dairy, and vegetables.

Bonding Time!

An often overlooked hack for getting children to develop better eating habits is teaching them to get involved with their food. The earlier, the better. Start together to build eating habits that they can carry into adulthood. When children are able to make and choose healthy alternatives, they’ll be less inclined to grab junk food.

What You Eat, I Eat Too

Remember to lead by example. Children want to eat what you eat. If you are eating a well-balanced diet, they’ll want to follow your lead and do the same. Along with educating them on the benefits of a healthier diet and why it’s better to eat nutritious food over junk food, show them by eating better. In short, tell and show.

Create Better Versions Together

Whatever you end up cooking, see if you can cook it together, and then make it as healthy as you can get it with it still tasting delicious. Not that it needs to be said, but no child is going to eat something without an ounce of taste. I won’t dare you to try.

Holidays & Events

Work together on holiday food cooking projects by either introducing healthier alternatives to traditional dishes or devising of new whole dishes altogether.

The same suggestion applies If your child is partaking in an event such as a bake sale. Take the opportunity to create a healthier take on certain baked goods like brownies and cookies by interchanging ingredients, or toss in some new baked ideas of your own creation!

Teach Your Kids to Cook

If teaching your kids to cook some basic healthy meals and motivating them to that they can make themselves isn’t considered a hack, I don’t know what is.

Oftentimes a lot of bad eating habits happen in the form of fast food

Hydrate & Hydrate Some More

Hydrate & Hydrate Some More

It is really easy to lose sight of how much water we consume a day, and we definitely don’t ever want our children to be in a position where they can get dehydrated. With all the physical activities that children partake in and all the excess energy they have, period, it’s almost a wonder how we keep them properly hydrated.

A neat and easy trick is to buy a couple of durable water bottles and get them using them everywhere you can think of. The more accessible and within sight the water is, the more likely they are to drink it and develop a habit of wanting to regularly.

Water bottles are also extremely customizable and the varieties available that will appeal to your child are endless. Involve your child in picking out their favorites so that they’re more inclined to use it.

Habit-forming tips: If they’re at their desk, place one on top. Going out to school? Drop one in their backpack.

Don’t Forget the Goods

Availability and accessibility matters when it comes to eating healthy. Keep healthy foods stocked and within reach for your child. For all the good eating habits instilled and cooking lessons taught, it’s all for nothing if the child does not have immediate access to the healthy foods they could want.

Junk food is notoriously easy to access and cheap enough for a child’s spare change to afford. That’s why it’s so important to utilize whatever nutritional hacks or tools you have at your disposal to get your child making better decisions in regards to their nutritional health.

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Jennifer Shackelford
 

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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