Happy, Healthy Meals
Want your kids to eat healthier? Serve your family meals with a side of fun!
Not properly monitoring a child’s diet can lead to a variety of health issues, including asthma, musculoskeletal problems, diabetes, depression, and low self-esteem. Later on in life, obesity could lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, cancer, sleep apnea, and many more health complications.
A good place to start to curb childhood obesity is in your home. Prepare balanced meals and get your kids involved in the process to make it more fun. Start with a healthy breakfast and then send your kids off to school with a balanced lunch. Here are some Lunchbox Safety Tips and Six Simple Food Swaps (for healthier lunches) that we’ve provided in the past.
Now, playing the role of dinnertime parrot (Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies!) isn’t fun for anyone. Here, Karla Adams, a family nurse practitioner at Bingham Memorial, shares tips for getting children to eat better without the soundtrack.
Share Fun Facts
Did you know asparagus can grow 10 inches in one day in the right climate? Or that eggplant isn’t really a vegetable, but a berry? “It might take a five-minute Google search before mealtime, but you’ll be educating and engaging them at the dinner table,” Adams says.
Play with Their Food
Kids are very visual, so when you make their food look interesting, they’re more likely to eat it,” Adams says. For example, build a silly sandwich using cucumbers for eyes, shaved carrots for hair, and red bell pepper for the mouth.
Make it a Game
Create a system that rewards children for eating their share of each healthy food group at dinnertime. Then, award a weekly prize for meeting that goal consistently. If that sounds like too much work, check out Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game for Kids ($13).
Meet Karla Adams, FNP-C
Karla is a certified family nurse practitioner and has been working in the medical field for more than 26 years. She specializes in family medicine and sees patients of all ages, with an emphasis on pediatrics. Karla is always welcoming new patients in Blackfoot. Same-day appointments are available.
Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.