Do you struggle with trying to get your kids to eat healthy plant-based meals? Would you like some tips on how to get them to happily eat their fruits and veggies? In this video we’re going to explore seven strategies to promote healthy eating in your family.
When adopting plant-based diet, it is always easier to prepare just one meal for the whole family instead of catering to each individuals wants. When parents lead by example, children will often follow. This applies to both healthy and unhealthy food choices.
If you have children who are transitioning to a plant-based diet, here are seven strategies that you could use to promote healthy eating.
1. Grow Your Own Food
If you have a little space in your yard or on a windowsill, then a packet of organic vegetable seeds and little bit of soil can inspire children to have fun growing their own food. Peas, carrots, baby greens (mesclun), cress, cherry tomatoes, kale, and radishes are all easy and fun for kids to grow. You could also start a small outdoor or indoor herb garden, in which you can grow plants such as basil, parsley, chives, cilantro, oregano, and more.
It is wonderful for kids to know where their food comes from, and after growing their own, they are usually happy and eager to try some.
2. Make Food Fun!
At each meal, spend a little bit of extra time to create a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. We are all attracted to eating food that looks pleasing to the eye. Be creative and arrange your child’s food in fun and interesting ways.
You can also involve your child in this process, as when children are allowed to make their own fruit and veggie creations, they are more likely to eat them. With a little imagination, they can make people or create a picture such as a landscape or animals with fruits and veggies. You can also make dipping sauces for them to use with their creations. Hummus goes great with sliced veggies, and you can make a sweet or savory dip with cashew cream.
3. Get Them Involved In Food Prep And Cooking
Inspire budding chefs by allowing them to help at mealtimes. Older children can help with peeling and chopping and more advanced skills, while younger children can arrange salads, make salad dressings by shaking them up in a jar, shape energy bites, and other easier tasks.
Be willing to try their creations, as this will encourage them to make nutritious meals more often. You never know, you may just have the next top chef on your hands!
4. Lead By Example
Eat your meals together. The family table is a great place to gather together and enjoy each others company over a tasty and nutritious meal. Children enjoy playing games, like copycat, and are great at emulating behavior, especially that of their parents and siblings. By having family mealtimes they will see you eating healthily, which will entice them to try new foods and make better food choices.
5. Try Juicing or Making Smoothies
Juices made from fresh vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients, especially green juices. They are absorbed more readily by the body due to the removal of plant fiber. However, try to use predominantly vegetables with few fruits, as too many juiced fruits can cause a spike in blood sugar.
If you don’t have a juicer or want to include more fiber in your diet, you can make delicious smoothies instead. They take longer to digest due to the fiber, and so are more filling than juices.
6. Teach Them The Benefits Of Healthy Eating
Children’s brains are like sponges; they absorb information readily. Thankfully, there are a ton of free resources out there that can help you in teaching your children about the benefits of eating more fruits and veggies.
Your local library probably has age appropriate books and DVDs on the subject.
7. If All Else Fails, Just Add Chocolate
If you have a child going through a “picky eating” phase, you could get sneaky and add chocolate to a healthy snack. Some great recipes include black bean brownies, chocolate avocado pudding, gluten-free chocolate zucchini cake, chocolate green smoothies, and chocolate dipped fruit or frozen banana pops.
You can find some of the previously mentioned recipes plus many more in the ever-growing recipe section of our website.
To recap, here are seven strategies that you could use to promote healthy eating in your family.
Take a screenshot and keep it as a reference or print it out and use it as a guide.
Children of all ages can grow healthy and strong on a 100% plant-based diet. However, their daily nutrient requirements can differ depending on age.
We have included the links in the description below for several helpful articles which give recommended guidelines for children on a plant-based diet, as well as dietary requirements for those at various life stages.
If you want to keep track of the foods your family members are eating, you can use our free Diet & Lifestyle Tracker, a 5-day journal to track your diet and health.
To help you transition to a plant-based diet, we have a free eBook “Going Plant-Based”. You can also join our Plant-Based Success Group on Facebook for support and encouragement, healthy whole food recipes, and help on your health journey.
RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO