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Introducing new food to children

Sometimes, introducing new food to your kids can feel like trying to cracking a Da Vinci Code. But no worries, you’re not alone! Whether they’re toddlers or in their teens, children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most. To encourage healthy eating habits, the challenge is to make nutritious choices appealing.

 

There are several ways that a parent can do to introduce new food to their children without forcing them to eat it:

  • Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods.

Kids should be eating more whole, minimally processed food—food that is as close to its natural form as possible—and less packaged and processed food.

  • Disguise the taste of healthier foods.

Add vegetables to a beef stew, for example, or mash carrots up with mashed potato, or add a sweet dip to slices of apple.

  • Cook more meals at home.

Restaurant and takeout meals have more added sugar and unhealthy fat so cooking at home can have a huge impact on your kids’ health. If you make large batches, cooking just a few times can be enough to feed your family for the whole week.

  • Get kids involved

in shopping for groceries and preparing meals. You can teach them about different foods and how to read food labels.

  • Make healthy snacks available.

Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) on hand so kids avoid unhealthy snacks like soda, chips, and cookies.

  • Limit portion sizes.

Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.

 

Along the way, don’t forget to encourage a regular exercise that can help motivate your kids to make a healthier food choices - Go for swimming, cycling, or even family run race!