How to make eating healthy fun for kids

Kids can be picky when it comes to food .  .  .and it’s often difficult to get them excited about eating healthy.

Catherine McCord, food blogger and author of Weelicious: One Family, One Meal, wants to make kids great eaters from an early age – and make life in the kitchen easier for parents.

Her book gives parents advice on how to give kids the necessary balance in their diet. She recently sat down with Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of to discuss how you can make a meal that the whole family can enjoy.

McCord said because kids are not the ones who do the grocery shopping, it’s up to the parents to put healthy foods in front of them.

“Kids don’t get to make any decisions in their life, and the one thing (you) can control is food,” McCord said.

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McCord said you should offer your children options and let them design their own meal. For breakfast, instead of serving plain oatmeal, give them a choice of healthy toppings – like granola or raisins.

After breakfast, it’s important to keep your child on the right path, especially once they arrive at school and could be exposed to less healthy options. McCord said it’s not hard to make a quick and balanced lunch that is appealing to the eye and colorful to keep kids interested.  She suggested letting your kids help you prepare their lunch so they will be excited to eat it.

Eliminating sweets completely forms a “taboo” in your child’s mind and only makes them crave the sugary substance more. Moderate your child’s intake and make a conscious decision about what sweets you purchase, she said.

The biggest influence to keep your kids eating healthy is to make it fun, she added.

For example, cooking as a family and growing a garden together teaches kids that green vegetables are actually tasty.

“Nutritious foods are important, but making them as a family is the beginning of great eating down the road,” she added.