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For many of us, our New Years resolution will be to eat better. While our children may protest our goals of having a healthier year, it is our job to get them back on track.
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If your kids have indulged in some holiday treats, we’ve got some proven ideas to help them eat healthier this year – and have fun doing it – to prepare them for good, healthy eating habits this year. to come up.
1. Plan meals and snacks
Just like a hungry adult, kids will grab the fastest and easiest option available. Don’t wait for their stomachs to growl, because all that will fill them up will be foods that are high in fat.
Children need to eat every three to four hours. This includes three meals, two snacks, and plenty of fluids like milk and water. Just make sure you’re consistent with the timing, and don’t force children to eat if they’re not hungry. This way, your children will learn to develop their own hunger cues so that they can eventually take control of their own healthy eating habits.
If you plan ahead with healthy snacks, your child’s diet will be much more balanced. That means keeping smart snacks on hand (sandwich bags can help) for long car rides, errands, and play dates. Apples, carrots, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and yogurt are all great options that travel well and allow kids to eat healthy.
Get Lunchskins Reusable Sandwich Bags at Amazon starting at $ 10.47
2. Pay attention to breakfast
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Children’s developing bodies need a healthy breakfast to fuel their bodies and brains, and to restore glucose levels after a night’s rest. Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast is vital for academic performance and emotional regulation, and that children who eat breakfast are more likely to have better overall health habits.
Look for solutions that are low in sugar and high in fiber to start the day right. For active kids, nut butter toast, smoothies, and breakfast muffins are great choices that will give them a boost of energy and help them stay focused for morning activities.
3. Make fun-sized food
Junk food makers know that feeding kids fun, bite-sized shapes gets them hooked. Children are more likely to eat their vegetables and other healthy foods if they are cut into bite-size pieces that they can fit in their mouths. These cute cookie cutters turn food into bite-sized puzzle pieces that are easy to eat and fun to put together.
Those BPA Free Plastic Blade Cutters That Won Funding On Shark aquarium are great for making healthy food more fun. Plus, since they’re made of plastic instead of metal, kids can get ready to make snacks even more exciting.
Get FunBites on Amazon from $ 9.99
4. Make the children cook
All the experts will tell you: if children do, they are more likely to eat it. Homemade pizzas, fajitas, sandwiches, topped potatoes, pasta bowls, yogurt parfaits and more make cooking fun and expose kids to a range of healthy toppings. Plus, this makes it a fun, food-focused family activity. We also like food kits to stimulate the palate of children. Eat2Explore is one of our favorites.
Involve the kids in the prep work with child-safe tools. This set contains everything they need to become a culinary master, including mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, mixing spoons, silicone spatula, whisk, rolling pin, timer tools, a pastry brush, cookie turners, oven mitts, an apron and of course. a chef’s hat for a complete visual effect.
5. Play with your food
Who says you can’t play with food? What if you could play healthy eating? If your child is hesitant to increase their intake of healthy foods, this plate will be a fun twist on things, literally! Designed by a mom and dad of a picky eater, this plate has spaces to put small, manageable portions of tough foods. A game wheel sits in the middle to randomly select foods to try.
Get the SpinMeal Plate on Amazon for $ 19.99
6. Take a dip!
Never underestimate the power of ranch dressing. If your kids refuse to eat their vegetables, try dressing them with delicious condiments, dressings and dips. A little hummus is packed with protein and makes any veggie taste better, while creamy dressings like ranch and green goddess will make your kids ask for another round of carrot sticks.
Get the 4-pack of salad dressing to go on Amazon for $ 11.99
7. Prepare your lunch on the right track
Bento-style lunch boxes are always a great option to give your grazers a rainbow. The problem is, who has time to make cute and colorful breakfasts every morning, full of vitamins? Whatever our best intentions, we inevitably go back to ham and cheese sandwiches and potato chips in a matter of weeks.
These bento boxed meal trays are just what you need for making Sunday night meals to go with you throughout the week. Each tray allows you to prepare breakfasts ahead of time, then seal them until ready to be placed in a Bentgo branded children’s lunch box.
8. Don’t be afraid of frozen foods
Frozen or canned foods aren’t a cop, as long as you read the labels. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are usually processed when fully ripe, so they can be tastier and more nutrient dense than fresh ones. Just make sure the canned foods are low in sodium and packaged in water, as opposed to oil or syrup.
When it comes to frozen meals, our Parenting editor recommends Little Spoon’s Easy, Frozen Weekday Dinners. With winning dishes like Chicken Sticks with Quinoa Veggie Stir Fry and Cherry Black Bean Edamame and Pupusas with Vegetable Spanish Rice, you’ll be thankful to have these tasty dishes on hand when all your other New Year’s resolutions will collapse. Because these kid-friendly meals are frozen, you always have an option on hand for quick, healthy, nutrient-dense meals that are full of flavor.
Get Little Spoon starting at $ 4.99 per meal
9. Make a meal plan
One of the biggest reasons families fail to stick to their healthy eating resolutions is that we are simply disorganized by the hustle and bustle of our day. Reviewed’s parenting team swears by the Skylight Calendar to keep our lives organized with plenty of activities and to-do lists and as a bonus it also keeps our meals organized.
The calendar also contains a shopping list and a meal planner app, to help you keep your healthy meals on track. The app offers a specific meal plan option that you can complete from your phone and that will show up in the Skylight calendar. Just add each evening’s meal to the weekly calendar and voila: meal planning is the easiest and most family-friendly.
Get the Skylight Frame Calendar for $ 159
10. Allow sweets (in moderation)
Banning sweet or savory treats will only make children want more of them. Instead of making less healthy snacks, allow them in moderation. We are allowing a party donut on Friday after school after a long week of hard work in the classroom. We also keep a box of our favorite sweet cereal on hand, but instead of allowing it for breakfast, it’s our favorite dessert for a family movie night.
As for McDonald’s, we try to keep it to a minimum but a Happy Meal once or twice a month is an exciting treat. As long as kids see them as a special exception, as opposed to a take out dinner, it will prepare them for how to enjoy less nutritious foods without overdoing it.
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