Many parents struggle to get their children to eat healthy foods. If given the option, many children will choose cake over broccoli. Truthfully, most adults would too. However, your children need to consume healthy foods for the nutritional value. In order to get started, consider these three tips.

1. Start early.
The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. If you’re able to consume healthy foods while the baby is in the womb, you’ll increase their chances of craving healthier options. Once they’re able to eat solid foods, do your best to puree fruits and vegetables without any artificial sweeteners. Introduce your children to a variety of vegetables. Instead of snacking on pretzels and chips, allow them to snack on carrots, celery and apple slices.

2. Sneak vegetables into different meals.
If your child doesn’t like spinach, add a handful of it to a fruit smoothie. The green color might throw them off at first. However, the taste is the same. Most people can’t taste the difference between a regular fruit smoothie and a green smoothie. Add broccoli, chicken and seasonings into a food processor. Make delicious vegetable patties that’ll include their favorite meats along with the nutrients of broccoli, kale or bok choy. Try different recipes that mask the appearance of certain nutrients so that your children will happily consume them without hesitation.

3. Involve your children in the meal prepping process.
Create memories with your children by inviting them into the kitchen to help you. Once they get into the habit of helping you prepare meals, they might feel a sense of pride in the final product. As a result, the chances of consumption increase. Use gourmet spice gifts to season the various meats and vegetables for dinner. Teach them about spices and herbs. Show them how to make sweet yet healthy treats. As their confidence increases around the kitchen, this might spark a desire to learn more about nutrition and healthy eating.

As you develop these practices, understand that you have to practice what you preach. If you’re not eating healthy foods, it’s going to be even harder for your children to do it. You’re the first teacher, so teach them well.

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