As a child I remember playing with toys because they were colorful and looked interesting or “cool”. Now as a mother I want to take that into consideration when preparing fun but healthy snacks for my daughter.

Follow these three steps to transform your child’s eating habits:

Step one: Have fun creating meals

Let that inner child loose when preparing meals and snacks for your child! Get cookie cutters to make sandwiches into shapes or use the cookie cutter to make “fruit kabobs”; cut into shapes and place fruit on a skewer! Kids love to see color objects so choose various fruits.

Step two: Get the kids involved

Most children love to have a leadership role so it’s important that you allow them to participate in meal preparation. If a child likes to pick out their own fruit based on its color or shape then give it a shot at the grocery store! Take your time and let them walk around and look at all the different fruit. You will be surprised by what fruits they pick. Give them a chance, kids are smarter then we give them credit for.

Step three: Choose quality foods

When preparing your child’s meals and snacks for the week, be sure to choose quality proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies. Avoid  refined grains or processed foods and make sure to offer water. Many other drinks have excessive amounts of sugar and can be very addicting for children and even adults. Why do you get a rush when you eat a midday candy bar? The sugar in it — called a simple carbohydrate — is quickly turned into glucose in your bloodstream which causes your blood sugar levels spike. Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products however these have fiber and protein that slow the process. Syrup, soda, candy, and table sugar don’t.

Before you stress about creating a healthier life for your children keep these three steps in mind

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.