12 Ways to encourage children to eat healthy

My son does not like to eat vegetables……..
My daughter runs away when she sees fruits……..
My kids are fussy eaters……just eat potato as vegetable….
My kids just don’t touch healthy food……..12 Ways to encourage children to eat healthy






Many such dialogues must be heard in each part of the world. It’s a universal issue. This article will help you understand how as a parent you can encourage your children to eat healthy.

Here are following advice for parents wishing to encourage healthy eating habits in children to try new foods:

  • Parents need to be patient when it comes to getting your child to try new food.
  • Make mealtimes fun! The emotional atmosphere at mealtimes is important. As it makes the child feel special.
  • Be a role model. “Children are more likely to accept a new food if they see their parents or older siblings eating and enjoying that food. If your child sees you eating vegetables, and they think it tastes good, they are more likely to follow suit in the future than if they didn’t see you eating them”.
  • Keep trying new foods. Repeated exposure to initially disliked foods can breakdown resistance.
  • Explain to them the nutrition facts about the food in a simple and creative way.
  • Expose your child to a range of foods, tastes and textures early on.
  • Don’t restrict access to particular foods. This has the effect of increasing, rather than decreasing, preference for, and consumption, of that food.
    Don’t force your child to eat a particular food. Doing so will decrease the liking of that food.
  • Involve kids in kitchen in while choosing or preparing meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created. Take them to the store, and let them choose for you. If they’re old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.
  • Be more creative with meal presentations, greater the creativity more variety of foods kids eat. Make smiley-face pancakes and give foods silly names. (Broccoli florets are “baby trees” or “dinosaur food.”) Anything mini(mini paratha, mini idli etc) is always a hit .Use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which the children love. The plates and bowls they are served in should be colourful and different shape.
  • Bite your tongue. As hard as this may be, try not to comment on what or how much your kids are eating. Be as neutral as possible. Remember, you’ve done your job as a parent by serving balanced meals; your kids are responsible for eating them. If you play food enforcer — saying things like “Eat your vegetables” — your child will only resist.
  • Don’t use high energy foods as rewards and treats for eating their greens. It’s unlikely to encourage your child to eat the food you want them to eat. Use rewards such as a trip to the swimming pool or for a movie may be to a garden or a fun fair.

Recipe NameIngredientsMethod
Bajara Vada1 cup bajra flour/pearl millet flour
2 tbsp whole wheat flour/atta
2 tbsp curd/dahi/yogurt
1 green chili + 2 garlic cloves + ½ inch ginger, crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tsp white sesame seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
½ tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
½ tsp cumin powder/jeera powder
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp sugar or add as required
4.5 tbsp water or add as required
salt as required
oil for deep frying

- Take 1 cup bajra flour in a mixing bowl or in a rimmed plate/thali.
- Add 2 tbsp whole wheat flour/atta. then add a paste of 1 green chili + 2 garlic cloves + ½ inch ginger. also add 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
- Now add the spices ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, 3 tsp white sesame seeds, ½ tsp sugar and salt as per taste.
- Then add 2 tbsp curd.
- With a spoon mix everything very well.
- Now add 1 tbsp oil. Again mix.
- Then add 2 tbsp water and mix again.
- Add 1 to 2 tbsp more of the water and knead the dough. do add more water if required. i added 4.5 tbsp water.
- Knead to smooth dough. Make dough which is not very soft nor too tight. if the dough becomes soft, then add 1 or 2 tbsp or more of the bajra flour. if the dough become hard or looks dry, then add 1 to 2 tbsp water or as required.
-Cover and keep aside the bajra dough for 30 minutes or for a couple of hours.
-Make small to medium sized balls from the dough.
-Rub little water in your palms and shape each ball into a vada or patty. the patty should not be thick or thin. about ⅛ of an inch. thinner than an aloo tikki.
-Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
-Gently slid the vada in the hot oil. the oil should be medium hot.
-Prepare more vadas and add them to the oil.
-When one side is half done, turn over and fry the other side.
-Fry bajra vadas till golden and remove with a slotted spoon.
-Drain on kitchen paper towels.
-Serve bajra vadas hot or warm. accompany the vadas with fresh or spiced curd/yogurt or with evening chai. these vadas stay good for a week too and also can be made as a picnic or travel snack.


187 thoughts on “12 Ways to encourage children to eat healthy”

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