Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Daily Dish

5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy

Its dinnertime and your children push away the spinach and refuse to eat the broccoli. For snacks and dessert, they shun the fresh fruit you offer them. Does this sound familiar? If you want to inspire your kids to eat healthier, it helps to make the foods you offer them more appealing.

As you know from following the South Beach Diet, healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, can be just as delicious (if not more so) as junk food. Start by asking your children for a list of their favorite foods (cookies and cake don’t count). Chances are you can incorporate some of their picks into the daily meals that you prepare. Do your children have a soft spot for mashed potatoes? Introduce them to the South Beach Diet version, which uses cauliflower (they’ll be surprised how good it is!). Do they love sugary cereal? Have them try our oatmeal pancakes instead. Most importantly, show your kids that you practice what you preach and set a good example by enjoying healthy meals along with them. And do make a concerted effort to get any junk food out of the house. Here are five ways to get your kids to start eating fruits and vegetables:

Have your children help with the preparation and cooking of the food. Studies have shown that children will try foods readily if they have helped in their preparation.

Get dipping: Kids love to dip. Serve raw veggies with reduced-fat dressing or hummus.

Let your children taste the difference between canned, frozen, or fresh veggies, and let them decide their favorite. In many cases, canned and frozen can be very healthy.

Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of melon slices. Kids love experimenting — and eating.

Help kids make frozen fruit kebabs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and kiwis.

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