How to Get Children Excited About Eating Healthy

Getting children excited about healthy eating can be one of the hardest challenges for parents. Some children, no matter how hard you try, just don’t have a liking for food and turn their noses up at even the freshest fruits and vegetables.

Before you start introducing different cuisines, there are some tricks to get your children on board with healthy eating though. One of the most effective ways is embracing recipes that children find fun and appealing. The trick is to prepare kid-friendly dishes by integrating healthy ingredients and swapping out the unhealthy stuff. Hopefully the excitement of the meal will distract them from what’s actually inside and teach them that healthy food can taste good.

So what are these magical recipes? Here’s a great list for you to look through and get started. They’re all budget-friendly too, with ingredients that are readily available.

Healthy Pizza
Pizza is generally any child’s favorite and it’s perfect for vegetables. By making it healthy, you’re really latching on to something great. Make your own pizza dough and use unbleached flour instead of the processed variety. For the sauce, you can make your own using fresh tomatoes or buy the bottled or canned variety. Just make sure that the brand you’re getting uses real tomatoes as well. You could even blend some of the vegetables into the tomato sauce. Just choose the ones that won’t alter the taste so much, like broccoli and carrots. This way, the children will still get their recommended serving. Add some grated low-fat cheese and top with very finely cut vegetables. For meat lovers, choose lean cuts of beef, have it ground by your butcher, then quickly sauté in a little olive oil and some garlic.

Grilled Cheese
Though cheese is essentially a healthy food, even too much of a good thing can be bad. For fans of the comforting grilled cheese sandwich, here’s another good trick to ease them into the idea of healthy eating. Forgo the white bread and go for multi-grain. Cut it up into thick slices. Layer some low-fat cheese in the middle, but also add some fresh sweet basil leaves and tomato slices. The meal still looks the same, but with a twist.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Pasta is another favourite among children, and it works with the same principle as what you can do with pizza. Simply make the sauce as you would usually, but incorporate a variety of vegetables into the sauce. You may need to test different types of vegetables, as some may alter the sauce’s taste.

Fruity Dessert
Dessert is often the most awaited part of the meal. This is where you can be fun and creative, allowing you to serve yummy, healthy food. Instead of cake, cookies, and ice cream, which are usually high in sugar, go for alternatives that have less sugar. You can try baking your own, so you can tweak the recipe and lessen the amount of sugar in them. Work with different types of fruits, preferably those in season so they’re naturally sweet. Fruit salad is a refreshing dessert you can make. Select seasonal fruits, mixing and matching flavors. You can have apples, mangoes, peaches, and grapes, or just a mixed berry salad. You can start with putting some low-fat cream, then each time you serve it, remove the cream until you’re serving only fruit. You can also make your own smoothie with frozen fruits and fruit juice, or you can freeze them and make fruit pops—perfect for the summer!

Children eat with their eyes, and if something doesn’t look familiar or looks weird, then they won’t even touch it. These tricks are great because you’re able to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet while still serving time-tested favorites.

Elle-Rose Williams works for, an online resource for family-friendly ways of keeping your travelling group entertained at the airport.