The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Eat Better

myplate, oregon department of agriculture, healthy kids, healthy meals

We all know kids thrive when they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. But too often its seems like the exception then the norm. One of the best ways to normalize healthy eating is to show your kids what a healthy meal looks like.

Using MyPlate as a guide, start by filling half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s so important, we’ll say it again ... fill half your plate fruits and vegetables!   When you take the time to fill their plates with fruits and veggies, children get accustomed to what a full, balanced meal looks like. Soon, they’ll be asking you “where’s the rest of my dinner?” if you serve just plain pasta and cheese!   Any type of fruit or vegetable will make a difference, and it doesn’t matter how it was processed or packaged. Fresh, frozen, dried and canned are all great options that are nutritious, delicious, and can be used in all types of recipes. Aim for selecting produce in a variety of colors to maximize your family’s health. Fortunately with over 220 different crops grown right here in Oregon, there are so many delicious combinations of fruits and vegetables to fill half of your plate with.   The half-plate serving tip is an easy way to boost the healthfulness of your kids’ meals, here are a few more ways to get them to eat more fruits and vegetables.   Make it fun and focus on eating a rainbow Enlist your kids’ help. At the grocery store or farmer’s market, ask your child to help you select fruits and vegetables. At home, encourage your child to help wash and prepare the produce. Let kids serve themselves. Use ¼ and ½ cup serving cups so kids learn what a fruit or vegetable serving actually looks like on the plate. Eat them yourself. If kids see you eat it, they are more likely to eat it too! Be positive, patient and most of all, don’t give up! Kids often need to be exposed to foods multiple times before they try it.   For more tips and tricks check out these links:  

Fun games for kids to learn more about fruits and vegetables

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