counteracting childhood obesity

#ChildhoodObesityWeek: 5 Ways To Encourage Your Child To Enjoy Healthy Eating

It’s one thing getting your child to eat healthy food, but it’s an entirely different matter getting them to enjoy it!

 

It’s a problem many parents and carers face on a daily basis, and with the number of childhood obesity cases on the rise, it is now more important than ever to educate them on the merits and importance of eating a balanced and healthy diet.

 

We know this is far easier said than done! To help, we’ve come up with a few ideas you can try to encourage your children to embrace healthy eating.

 

 

Grow Your Own

 

As mums and dads all over will know, kids love anything hands on which involves new discoveries and experiences. This is what makes our first suggestion so effective. Getting your kids involved in growing and nurturing their own food generates interest and a sense of accomplishment. If you’ve never tried growing your own vegetables, never will there be a better incentive to get started! Watching a tiny seed start on its journey of growth and turn into a giant vegetable is a wonder of nature that never fails to encapsulate children. It also teaches them how to care and nurture, as they learn the importance of daily watering, making sure it’s got enough sun and planting out.

 

Try Smoothies

 

Making smoothies is also a fun activity to do with children. Preparing the fruit and vegetables beforehand, putting it all into the juicer or smoothie maker and watching it all whizz up into bright colours can be lots of fun as well as teaching them about different types of fruit and vegetables. It’s a great way to get them to try new things and introduce them to different tastes and textures.

 

Cook With Them

 

Try and set some time aside at the weekend or in the school holidays to spend some time cooking with your children. A lot of parents will bake with their children, but less spend time on making healthy recipes – probably because they think it’s not as much fun, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Thinking outside the box and getting creative while you cook with fruit and veggies can be a great way to encourage your child to start liking vegetables. Cut your vegetables into different shapes and sizes, tell a story with them or arrange them in pictures on a plate to make them look more appealing. Superhealthykids.com has got some great fun vegetable recipe ideas to help turn your veggies into something more child friendly.

 

Go Fruit Picking

 

Taking your child fruit picking at a local farm is a great way to show them the different ways fruit and vegetables grow and discover more about where their food comes from. What’s more, now is the perfect time to do it! From getting up high and picking apples and pears from trees, to stooping down low and harvesting sweet strawberries – for a list of farms local to you that offer fruit picking, have a look at pickyourownfarms.org.uk. This also makes a great school holiday day out too.

 

High Days & Holidays

 

Make the most of healthy foods by tying them in with event themes throughout the calendar year. So, when it’s Halloween for example, rather than just buying a pumpkin to carve a scary face into, make sure you buy another one for cooking purposes. Pumpkin pie, soup and finely sliced pumpkin in salads are some great recipe ideas that children will enjoy preparing with you. Other examples include brussel sprouts at Christmas and apples on bonfire night. Alternatively, create your own themes and ideas by keeping abreast of what’s in season by following a seasonality table.

 

For more information about healthy eating, or if you’re concerned about childhood obesity, visit NHS Choices. You can also get involved in the conversation taking place across social media this week by using and following #ChildhoodObesityWeek.

 

Fancy implementing some of the ideas above? Let us know how you get and whether they become a success with your children by tweeting us or leaving us a message on our Facebook page.