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Five foodie tips for healthier kids

Five foodie tips for healthier kids


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There is nothing more important than our children’s health, and you can’t underestimate the importance of nutrition as part of that. Making sure kids eat well and have a strong relationship with food won’t just keep them healthy when they’re young; it will instil in them the right habits for later in life.

I know just how hard it can be to put the right kind of food on the table, let alone make the kids eat it, but these five top tips will help improve your children’s health in a flash.

Do breakfast right

Breakfast is such an important meal for people of any age, but for children it’s even more vital to give them the energy to concentrate at school and keep them going through to lunchtime. According to Kellogg’s, 1 in 7 children leave the house on an empty stomach, which can have a negative effect on their behaviour.

All too often I see children walking to school eating foods of poor nutritional value, such as crisps and chocolate, which means they’ll be hungry again within a short time as their blood sugar levels rapidly rise and fall. Those early years are the time to set good habits in your children, such as seeing breakfast as a way of life rather than a chore.

If you struggle to find the time in the morning, a piece of fruit and a slice of wholemeal toast is better than nothing to send kids out the door with. There are lots of simple, healthy toppings you can use – some mashed or sliced banana, a thin layer of peanut butter, or a little jam (no more than a teaspoon) are some great ways to top toast. Toasted fruit bread is also a lovely way to mix toast up too, and if you’ve got time, a boiled egg with soldiers is fun for kids and full of good stuff.

Porridge makes for a good weekend breakfast, when you’ve got more time on your hands to really embrace this meal with all the family around the table. Thankfully, Jamie’s porridge recipes are delicious, but I remember my mum trying to get me to eat plain porridge on cold winter mornings before school and it was never very appetising (sorry Mum!).

Don’t supersize or over-season

Children don’t need to eat as much food as adults, so don’t load up their plates at meal times with the same quantity of food as yours. Up to the age of six, children shouldn’t have more than 1,500 calories per day, and up to the age of ten no more than 1,800 calories. Take this into consideration when dishing up meals, as this could be around a third of what you eat in a day.

However, children do still need their five a day of fruits and vegetables though, so don’t scrimp on servings of these! It’s not as hard as it sounds – it’s easy to forget that beans and pulses count too, and Jamie’s recipe for Mexican bean wraps are sure to be a hit!

Kids don’t need as much salt in their diet either, so try not to season their food during cooking because they’re probably already getting the 4g of salt they need through pre-prepared foods.

Take kids shopping and read labels

Next time you’re food shopping and you’re not in a hurry, try to spend some time teaching your children about the foods going into your trolley. This way they can understand more of where ingredients come from and how they can be used in cooking. Fruit and vegetables are a good place to start, as there are so many different types and varieties.

Food labels are important because they tell us exactly what is in the food we are eating. By looking at the amount of calories, fat, sugar and salt that’s contained in food, decisions about the food you choose for you and your family will be easier

Get kids cooking

I’m not talking about collaborating on a gastronomic masterpiece; just basic, fun recipes that will arm your children for life, such as fresh pizza or pancakes. These will get your children familiar with ingredients, so they can recognise them and understand where and when they may be used.

Getting kids to prepare and weigh out ingredients, use basic kitchen equipment and try different cooking techniques, will help them develop the cooking skills they will need for adulthood and their own future family. It may even help to eliminate fussiness in your household – if you struggle to get them to try new dishes, slowly introduce ingredients so they become more familiar with them. Jamie’s minty yoghurt dip is a classic example of how to get your kids to try some veggies and “eat the rainbow”, providing lots of brightly-coloured food to tempt them.

Get them active

My last top tip for helping kids to leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t food related, but absolutely essential for good health. The government recommend 1 hour of moderate exercise every day for those under 18 years.

For many children, if they don’t find a sport they enjoy when they’re young, they may become sedentary in later life. It’s a case of finding something they enjoy, so they keep at it regularly and it becomes a part of their lifestyle, whether it’s cycling to school, running or swimming.

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of setting up the good habits of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle early on in life – both are vital to good health and wellbeing in the present and future.


Parenting tips: Five ways to help your child eat healthier

New Delhi: The number of people suffering from diabetes has been growing at an alarming rate in India. The trend is not different in children, with more and more kids falling victim to the disease nowadays.

Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. And that's why it's sometimes described as a lifestyle disease. Making healthier lifestyle choices, including choosing healthier foods and being physically active, can help prevent or reduce the risk of developing several health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, etc. Read: Obese children to outnumber severely underweight by 2022, says WHO

Unfortunately, kids today are being driven by the sedentary lifestyle, making them more vulnerable to this silent killer disease. It is said that there are four lakh school students in the India who have diabetes. Yet, this is not surprising if the food habits of school children in the national capital are an indication. Read: Signs your child is not enjoying school

A survey carried out by Delhi Diabetes Research Centre revealed that 39% of children in classes III-V in the national capital, aged 7 to 10, prefer junk food, such as burgers, pizzas and French fries, and only 11% kids like eating fruits, says a report in TOI.

The survey found that nearly 44% of children drink at least one aerated drink daily. The study also showed that the preference for fast food seemed to grow with age, with the figure rising from 11% in Class III to 66% in Class V. This indicates that our children's health and their future is at stake. But as responsible parents, you can teach your child about healthy eating habits, which will help them to maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Healthy eating also reduces chances of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, stroke, and diabetes.

Realising the fact that healthy eating habits start at home, parents should encourage their kids to evaluate their food choice habits even when eating out. Here are five ways parents can help their children make healthier food choices:


Challenges to Feeding Healthy Kids

There are a lot of factors that work against prioritizing healthy eating for kids today.

Given the landscape of the current food system, it’s no wonder so many kids develop eating patterns that lack whole fruits and vegetables.

Only 3% of American adults eat the recommended minimum amount of fiber, a nutrient only found in plant foods. As such, many children grow up accustomed to eating the Western Diet — a way of eating known to increase the risk for chronic diseases — rather than a diet based on healthy, whole, and minimally processed plant foods.

As challenging as it can be to expand and improve a child’s palate, it’s feasible with the right perspective and persistence.


Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Back to school day is fast approaching in Australia. As well as getting uniforms, shoes and stationery together everyone is looking for healthy lunchbox ideas. Many parents dread this when they are eaten five days a week lunch boxes need to be quick to prepare, healthy and appetising for the kids.

Here are my top tips for healthy lunchboxes the prep is streamlined and they get the thumbs up from my kids!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for my time spent on this post from Perfection Fresh, but as always my thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

1) Bento Bravo

I find Bento boxes invaluable. The sections allows for a variety of fruit and vegetables and even a dip to keep everything interesting. If you don’t have a Bento style lunch box just divide up your kid’s lunch box with silicon patty pans.

2) Supersize Your Veggies

As mentioned before, I like to include a range of fruit and vegetables in my sons’ lunchboxes. I stock up with fruit and vegetables that require no prep – such as Qukes®, celery sticks, mini carrots, cherry tomatoes, mini capsicums, berries and plums. Use these and the lunch box is half filled in no time and you are well on your way to meeting the 5:2 vegetable and fruit target.

3) Go Dippy

What about a dip for these veggies? That always makes things more interesting. Stock up with Greek yoghurt and use this as a base, then add herbs or lemon zest and juice topped with paprika. Adding Qukes®, baby beets, mayonnaise or cheese also revs up the flavour.

4) Love Leftovers

Leftovers are your friends, some foods are great cold the next day! Why not fill a section of the lunch box with left over quinoa, pasta, roasted vegetables or shred leftover chicken and pack it into Qukes® or mini capsicums for a surprise bite.

5) Freezer Friends

I love my freezer and it’s always stocked ready for the morning grab and dash. My favourite lunchbox friendly recipes usually can be frozen. Why not try my quinoa balls, bliss balls, oat bars, mini crustless quiche, rainbow fritters, pea pancakes or chicken meatballs.

6) Sandwich Switch

Lunchboxes and sandwiches go hand in hand, but they can become a bit boring. A quick way to make them fun is to roll them into sushi style bites. Pictured is a combination of ham, cream cheese and Qukes®. Another favourite is sandwich kebabs they are just a little bit different. You could even try using cookie cutters to make different shapes. The kids could get involved with this one when preparing the lunch boxes in the evening.

7) Rainbow Rules

The health experts are always telling us to eat a rainbow. This is to ensure that we get the full range of vitamins and minerals and luckily kids love colourful things. The Bento box makes it very easy for you to create an appealing, colourful lunch, or for another way to brighten the lunch box you could try making fruit or vegetable kebabs.

Think ahead, be prepared, make it colourful and interesting. Above all make it easy for yourself. If you are looking for more healthy lunchbox ideas, head to my Lunchbox Section for more ideas.

Have you found any of these tips useful or do you have any tips to share? If so leave a comment or tag me on Instagram or Facebook.


Five Ways to Help Kids Make Healthier Food Choices

Did you know, that almost half of parents are concerned that their children are unable to make healthy food choices? And, in my clinic I find many parents are worried that their children prefer processed foods to whole foods.

One study actually found that just 22 percent of children correctly answered all questions about common fresh food sources, and 24 percent of school-aged children don’t eat dinner around the table with their family regularly. But, while the study certainly raises concerns, the good news is that there is plenty we can do to change the situation.

“It’s wonderful that there is research like this available to us,” explains Mandy. “It means we can gain a clearer insight into the areas which need addressing when it comes to the health issues facing our children.” Here are some simple ways to engage your children to learn about food and help to prepare meals, making them more likely to eat nourishing, healthy food.

Make time for family meals

Countless studies show that eating meals regularly as a family provides numerous, lasting benefits that go far beyond simple nutrition. Adolescents who eat with their family four or more times a week do better at school, are less likely to engage in underage drinking and have less social and emotional problems. So, put a ban on devices and TV at the table and make your family meals a special time to bond and chat.

Involve your children in your weekly shop

Take your kids to the grocery store and let them help with the shopping. The study found that children who help their parents with grocery shopping, no matter how infrequently, are more likely to know where food comes from and how it’s grown, compared to those who never help with the shopping. “Exposure to healthy foods doesn’t begin at mealtimes or when food is being offered on a child’s plate or in their lunchbox,” Mandy says. “It begins with repeated exposure that engages all their senses such as going with mom to the supermarket and picking out a carrot and placing it in the trolley.”

Let your kids into the kitchen

Teaching your children to cook sets them up with fantastic skills that will last them a lifetime, not to mention the fact that they’re much more likely to try meals they have helped to prepare themselves.

Get growing!

Whether it’s a raised veggie patch, herbs on your balcony or windowsill, or regular visits to your local community garden, kids will love learning about how food grows and enjoy reaping the rewards. “Going to a community garden and getting covered with dirt while trying to pull out a bunch of beets, creates positive and fun associations with healthy food,” Mandy says.

Encourage kids to try new things

It can take up to 16 times for a child to accept a new food offered to them. The key is to keep offering it. Eventually – and usually when you least expect it – they will pick it up, lick, or even eat it. For more tips on encouraging kids to try new foods click here.

“Above all, research reinforces our belief that it’s essential to train children’s taste buds to enjoy nourishing, nutritionally beneficial foods as early as possible,” Mandy says. “This way you can ensure optimal development and establishment of lifelong healthy eating behaviors and food choices.”


Here are a few handy tips that don't tell you to put out all your cravings, but show you how to manage them better | Tips For A Healthy Diet

1. Try low-fat yogurt with seasonal fruits like berries, bananas and melon.

2. Replace sour cream with blended low-calorie cottage cheese or a home-made buttery avocado spread. Both being protein rich options are extremely beneficial, especially for vegetarians.

3. Sugar lovers - Include a tiny portion of dark chocolate in your daily diet to cut out sugar cravings and make your skin softer and radiant.

4. If you like peanut butter, then make it at home. Just take soaked peanuts and grind them together till they look like cream. But restrict your intake to one spoon every few days.

5. Instead of frying eggs and bacon, lay them on a tray, and bake to perfection.

6. Eat a lot of baked fish for a healthy heart.

7. Add mushrooms to make meatballs, and use whole wheat pasta for a healthy variation of Spaghetti Meatballs.

8. Healthy cookies: Bake healthful cookies with ragi or oatmeal.

Now, let's get down to cooking. From sweet and sour salads to amaranth tikki, from buttermilk chicken to delicately charred broccoli, we've got it all.


Make Snacks Fun and Yummy

If you find that your kids don’t like something you have offered them, try making it in a different way that sparks their sense of fun and imagination.

You don’t have to go all crazy Pinterest perfect to make this work. If they don’t want to eat a plain apple, slice it up, slather with peanut butter and roll in granola, coconut, or chopped nuts. Or dip the apple slices in yogurt and sprinkle with cinnamon.

We have lots more fun and delicious snack ideas in our Snack Category. Enjoy!


1. Identify your weaknesses when it comes to food

Let’s call this the food vice. We all have one. Mine is sugar. I have a strong ass sweet tooth. It’s what inspired me to start this blog in the first place, with the initial intention to share my dessert recipes with the world. But it’s common knowledge that eating excess sugar is one of the worst ways to damage your body.

Maybe your vice is salt. Or butter. Or spicy hot Cheetos. But you most likely know what it is. Now, it’s time to slowly reduce the amount of that thing that you can’t get enough of.

I keep my sweet tooth in check by allowing myself to have only one or two sweet things a day. And, no, that doesn’t mean a whole chocolate cake counts as that sweet thing. It has to be something small, like a fun-sized Kit Kat or a short latte from Starbucks. Allow yourself to mindfully eat only small amounts of your food vice.

Instead of eating the whole batch of these chai chocolate chunk-cookies, I’ll have just one.


Examples of Healthy Snacks for Preschoolers:

  • Clementines – they are the perfect size for kids and easy to peel
  • Bananas – easy to eat, little mess
  • Any seasonal fresh fruit – apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, blueberries
  • Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Hummus with carrots – kids love to dip!
  • Raw vegetables (carrots, peppers, cucumber) with ranch dip
  • Whole wheat mini bagels with light cream cheese

A favorite snack in my house for my 3- and 4-year-old and are these homemade No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bites. Of course if there are peanut allergies within your own home or in your children’s school, feel free to substitute another kind of butter such as soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter in place of peanut butter.

Bite-sized and kid-friendly. Who can resist chocolate chips?!


5 Ways to Eat Healthier At Work

Having a hectic day? Don’t let your healthy eating habits slip through the cracks. Follow these 5 tips to make sure you stay on track while you're at work.

I can’t stress the importance of a healthy breakfast to help you settle into a hunger-free morning. Even if you’re the type of person who grabs their cup of Joe and runs out the door, make an effort to take in a piece of fresh fruit, yogurt or slice of whole grain bread with a tablespoon natural peanut butter.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 83 percent of Americans claim to eat meals and snacks at their desks. Instead of mindlessly gobbling down whatever’s in front of you, step away from your desk, computer, electronic devices . . . you get the picture. Have a seat somewhere quiet where you can relax and enjoy each bite.

When hunger strikes, be prepared so you don’t run to the closest fast food joint. Collect or print out menus from surrounding restaurants and review them in advance. Circle your favorite healthy options so there’s no thinking involved when it's time to order.

One of your best bets to ensure you’ll eat a healthy meal is to pack your own. To get you started, check out our 1 week brown bag menu.

Around 2 or 3PM many folks go through their afternoon lull. The blood sugar drops, fatigue sets in and you’re in dire need of a pick-me-up. Keep your cravings under control by knowing which foods to grab on the fly and healthier choices from your vending machine. If you really need something sweet, step away from the 200+ calorie candy bar. Instead, that may be a good time to get in your ounce of dark chocolate for the day. Pair it with fresh fruit for a maximum antioxidant boost.


The Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids

You know it's better to feed your kids vegetables instead of ice cream. But, what are the healthiest foods for kids&mdashand how do you get them to actually eat them? Read on for tips from the experts, plus our top 10 healthy foods for kids.

Pictured Recipe: Kid-Friendly Salad

Anyone who&aposs ever tried to feed a child (something other than cereal or ice cream) knows that they don&apost always eat what you want them to. It&aposs stressful trying to figure out what to make to nourish their tiny bodies. Plus, just because it gets served doesn&apost mean your kids will eat it. But kids need nutritious food-healthy fats for their brains, calcium for their bones, and all the vitamins and minerals vegetables offer-and more. To take out some of the stress and make sure you&aposre offering your child the healthiest foods, we compiled expert tips for mealtimes as well as a list of the top 10 healthy foods for kids.

These 10 foods are not only super-healthy for your kids (and for you!), but are also versatile and easy to prepare.

1. Yogurt

"Yogurt is a wonderful option for breakfast, a snack, or even a dessert but you have to watch the added sugar content," says Katie Andrews, M.S., R.D., a childhood nutrition coach and owner of Wellness by Katie. "It&aposs a healthy, filling snack that checks the boxes on protein and vitamin D, a nutrient many kids lack in their diet." Yogurt also delivers probiotics, good bacteria that are important for maintaining a healthy gut. An easy way to pick out a healthy yogurt? Buy plain Greek yogurt, which has zero added sugars plus twice the protein of regular yogurt. Most yogurt that&aposs flavored has added sugar some new products are flavored with just fruit, but plain is always a safe bet. It&aposs easy to add flavor yourself by adding berries and sprinkling a whole-grain cereal on top or creating a fun parfait with fruit. Dress up yogurt even more for kids by turning it into frozen yogurt pops or frozen yogurt bark.

2. Beans

Beans are a humble superfood. They&aposre loaded with protein and fiber, plus they&aposre cheap and take little time to prepare. Buy low-sodium canned beans such as black beans, chickpeas or kidney beans. Simply open the can, rinse them to remove extra sodium and add to any dish. "Replacing ground beef with beans in a quesadilla or tossing beans with pasta helps maintain high-quality, lean protein while adding a key nutrient: fiber," says Andrews. There are pastas made from beans too, look for brands like Banza, Pow and Tolerant Foods. "Kids ages 4 to 8 need around 25 grams of fiber a day, and most products marketed directly to kids, like fruit snacks and cheese crackers, contain little if any. Fiber helps promote healthy digestion and helps your kids feel fuller, longer, so they aren&apost asking you for a snack 5 minutes after dinner ends," says Andrews.

3. Eggs

Pictured Recipe: Avocado-Egg Toast

One large egg has 6 grams of protein and delivers vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron. Some eggs are also fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in kids&apos brain development. Don&apost worry about the cholesterol-saturated and trans fats have a bigger impact on raising bad cholesterol than eggs. At breakfast, skip the pastries, fried foods and processed meats and scramble some eggs for your kids instead. If your kids aren&apost fans of scrambled, try different presentations like egg salad or egg casseroles.

Eggs also make a great starter food for babies. Doctors used to recommend not giving eggs until babies were 12 months old, but research now shows that introducing allergenic foods between 6 and 12 months might help prevent food allergies.

4. Avocado

Avocados are an easy way to get healthy fats into your child&aposs diet. They are high in monounsaturated fats, which decrease inflammation and keep cholesterol levels healthy. Fat moves through the digestive tract slowly, so it keeps kids full longer. But the best part of avocados? Their versatility. You can eat them with a spoon, mash on toast, throw into a smoothie, mix into chicken or tuna salad, or make a pasta sauce like avocado pesto. Avocados also make a great first food for babies.

5. Sweet Potato

Short on time and need something nutritious? Wash a sweet potato, poke some holes in it and microwave it for 3-5 minutes (depending on its size). Slice it lengthwise, let it cool, then scoop onto your child&aposs plate. Whether your kid is 6 months, 6 years old or 16 years old, sweet potatoes are appealing across the board (because they&aposre sweet!). They&aposre packed with vitamin A (over 300 percent daily value for an adult), fiber and potassium. Limiting salt and increasing potassium keeps blood pressure and hearts healthy.

6. Milk

Milk helps build strong bones because it&aposs full of calcium and vitamin D. One 8-ounce glass is also high in phosphorus, vitamin B12 and potassium, and has 8 grams of protein. Babies shouldn&apost have cow&aposs milk until age 1. Offer whole milk until age 2 but keep it under 32 ounces for the day or they might be too full to eat their food. After age 2, kids can drink low-fat milk with a goal of three servings of dairy per day-yogurt and cheese count too. If your kid doesn&apost like cow&aposs milk, there are a variety of alternatives on shelves today. But check the nutrition labels and choose unsweetened or plain varieties for your kids. Plain may have some added sugar to match the sweetness of dairy milk, which may be more palatable to tiny taste buds. Every alternative milk has a slightly different nutrition profile soymilk has the most protein. And you&aposll get the same calcium and vitamin D benefit as long as the milk is fortified.

7. Nuts & Seeds

Swap the low-fiber, crunchy kid snacks (you know the ones that are practically air) for nuts and seeds to deliver a healthful trio of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Mix it up by offering cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and more. If your child has a tree nut allergy, seeds may be a safe choice and a good way to get important nutrition. Nuts are high in magnesium, a mineral that&aposs crucial in bone development and energy production. Walnuts, pecans, chia seeds and flaxseeds are high in alpha-linolenic (ALA) acid, a type of omega-3 fat that the body can&apost make (so you have to eat it). Offer nuts alone or with dried fruit, throw flaxseed into smoothies, sprinkle chia seeds on peanut butter toast, use sliced almonds to "bread" chicken instead of breadcrumbs, or make your own granola bars.

8. Whole Grains

Pictured Recipe: One-Pot Greek Pasta

Whole grains deliver a nutrient seriously lacking in most kids&apos diets: fiber. Fiber keeps them full and regular. Kids need about 25 grams per day, but many snacks only contain 1-3 grams per serving. Look for 100-percent whole wheat or whole grain in the ingredients list (don&apost be fooled by front-of-pack marketing) and at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving. Easy whole-grain foods for kids include oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta (try half whole-wheat, half white if they won&apost tolerate all whole-wheat), brown rice, and whole-wheat tortillas and bread. You can also use whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour when making pancakes, cookies or pizza dough.

9. Berries

One cup of berries has 4 grams of fiber and is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants like anthocyanins. Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are also lower in sugar than many fruits. Fresh berries make an excellent snack for kids or a great topping for yogurt. If berries aren&apost in season, buy unsweetened frozen berries and mix them into a jar of overnight oats or a smoothie.

10. Vegetables-Any Kind!

Kids and adults alike don&apost eat enough veggies. If you can get your kid to eat any vegetable-kudos! However, the more color and the greater the variety of vegetables, the better. Each color delivers different nutrients: leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in vitamin K, orange and red vegetables have vitamin A, peppers are packed with vitamin C, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower contain cancer-fighting compounds and feed good gut bacteria.

"Really it is about taking the &aposfear&apos away from veggies-while a slice of pizza is very approachable, a stalk of broccoli can seem intimidating," says Andrews. "So make veggies easy and accessible. Wash and cut celery, carrot and cucumber sticks and keep them in the fridge for snacking. If you have some green space available, plant a small garden with cherry tomatoes and sweet baby peppers when kids grow their own food they are proud of the results, and therefore more willing to indulge in the bounty." Andrews also recommends introducing new vegetables along with ones that your kid is already familiar with: "Make-your-own taco bars or pizza night at home is a great way to encourage young chefs!"

Don&apost give up after offering a vegetable a few times. It takes repeated exposure. Switching up how you serve the vegetables can help too. Some kids won&apost eat raw tomatoes but will eat cooked diced tomatoes in a pasta sauce.

Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

How can you actually get your kids to eat more of these super-healthy foods? Try these ideas.

Use MyPlate as a guide. Aim to make half of their plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter whole grains like bread or whole-wheat pasta, and one-quarter protein like eggs, meat, cheese, beans or nuts.

Remember that your job as the parent is to offer a variety of food, it&aposs your child&aposs job to eat it.

Get your children involved in the cooking and they&aposll be more likely to try the food. Try these 10 easy dinners that kids can help cook.

Serve food family-style so that kids can choose what and how much they would like to eat from the food on the table, recommends Emma Fogt, M.B.A., M.S., R.D.N. "Always have one food on the table that the limited-eater child likes," she says. "The child may eat a lot of bread, but you will also have your other foods on the table for them to try."

"Be a healthy-eating role model," Fogt also recommends. "Kids are watching your every move! For example: Sit down with your kids, eat every 3-4 hours yourself, enjoy healthy snacks and meals, make mealtimes fun and relaxing, play games at mealtime, get chatting, get rid of phones at mealtimes, take the pressure off the food and make it a time to connect. Because in our busy lives this downtime is sacred and it&aposs not about the food."

Take off the pressure. Research shows that kids who were forced to eat certain foods as kids often grow up to dislike or avoid those foods as adults. Coercing kids to eat foods makes mealtime stressful for them and you. "Keep calm and carry on," says Fogt. "It&aposs a long process-I hate to say it, but often can be years-as parents. You have to be so &aposchill.&apos No pressure on the child to eat and no pressure on you to force-feed."

Remove negative language from the dinner table, says Andrews. "Saying &aposyou&aposre probably not going to like it but give it a try&apos tells a child that the food isn&apost worth trying!" she says. Introduce new foods along with those with which they are familiar.

Remember you&aposre not alone. Seek help if needed! Registered dietitians, pediatric psychologists, pediatricians and feeding specialists can help.