10 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Eating Better

on October 28, 2011
Mark Boughton/ styling: Teresa Blackburn

Getting Kids Involved

As a mom of two, I know how challenging it can be to feed your kids well. One of our rules, especially with my son, is to make it fun. He drinks soups with a long straw, and orange juice with crazy straw "glasses," and sharpens carrots in a new pencil sharpener; whatever works. The important thing is to involve kids in the kitchen and what follows are some fun ways to do it. Relish Editor Jill Melton

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Grow It

Start a garden to teach kids the various life cycles of their favorite veggies. And if you aren't a green-thumbed mom, don't let that stop you. Tomatoes and herbs are easy to grow; even in small plots or indoors!

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Milk It

Consumption of milk decreased by 35 percent when flavored milk was eliminated for school lunches, resulting in a decrease in calcium, vitamins and protein. A little sugar may be a small price to pay for these nutrients. Plus milk, even when it's flavored, is caffeine-free.

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Sparkle It

Instead of serving your kids soda, let them come up with their own fizzy drinks by mixing 100 percent fruit juice and sparkling water.

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Kiss It

Place a Hershey's kiss on top of hot oatmeal and watch it melt. Kids love most anything with chocolate.

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Cut It

Cut Green onions or bell peppers with kitchen shears. It's safer than chopping with a knife and teaches kids that there are many ways to cook.

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Savor It

Use chopsticks to eat anything. It's fun, it slows kids down, and it will help them savor their food more.

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Draw It

Get a chalkboard and let your kids write the menu on it each night. They'll learn about food and meal planning and get a little spelling and writing practice too.

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Display It

Keep raw asparagus, carrots, bell peppers strips, apple wedges, grapes and cherry tomatoes handy for snacking. It's amazing how quickly they'll disappear when kept in plain sight.

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Shape It

When it comes to fruit, cut it into fun shapes and you'll be surprised how quickly it will go. Slice an apple into circles or into wedges for bite-size nibbles.

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Try It

Kids love sushi. Try the California rolls or crunchy shrimp rolls, where everything is cooked. Sushi is made fresh daily at most supermarkets and is low in fat and super nutritious.

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