“Mom, I don’t like broccoli!” Have you ever heard this before? This is what the challenge of getting your Kids to eat healthy sounds like. Give them chicken nuggets, pasta, pizza and the countless other processed foods and watch them gobble it all up as if their tiny bodies were vortexes in disguise. Almost every parent has faced the frustration of trying to get their little ones to eat their fruits and vegetables and of course a balanced meal in general. It’s tough, and that’s completely understandable. How then do we raise our little lambs to be healthy and strong if they continue to deny us?

Here are 5 tips to tricking your children into eating healthy.

Vegetables must now become masters of disguise

If you put steamed vegetables on a plate in front of a child, chances are, he or she will eat around it, they’ll poke at it, and they’ll do everything but eat it. To fix this problem, disguise those vegetables in their meals. When making rice, you can chop up those very same vegetables and cook them with the rice; carrots, broccoli, cauliflower; all these can be incorporated. Instead of using regular rice, why not use cauliflower as a rice substitute? Throw a head or two of the cauliflower into the food processor and allow it to be chopped fine until its consistency resembles that of rice.

Add your seasonings and spices to enhance the flavor and create a salivating appeal. Pair it with some baked sweet potato wedges and some oven-fried chicken wedges. It’s a meal that looks as great as it will taste and your little one is sure to beg you for seconds.

Be creative as presentation is everything

Give them an apple or a banana as it is and they’ll certainly look at it with disdain.

Kids are funny like that. Cut it into interesting shapes and pair it with items like peanut butter and jelly and they’ll tell you a story while they lick their fingers clean! Fruits are blank canvases; you can turn them into fun little critters or adored cartoon characters that your children will be more than happy to consume.

Eating is a social affair

Allow them to be involved in the preparation process. Children are curious, and at this tender age, they learn through practical examples. Let them get their hands dirty; they will feel a sense of self-pride when they consume the things their hands have created. Whether it be something as simple as smoothies or dried fruit and nut cookies; do not deprive them of being part of the healthy food process.

Be the role model

Children tend to mimic the things that we, the adults, do. If they see us gulping down soda after a long day at work; they’re going to come home from school and head to the refrigerator with their tiny little feet. They’ll reach for a soda can and down it in one go, just like mommy and daddy did!

Make it your business to enjoy the fruits and vegetables with them, if they see their mother or father having fruit as a snack, they’ll want it too. When daddy asks mommy to pass the vegetables, they’ll ask mommy to pass them the vegetables too.

Give them the choice

Let children have the option to choose the fruits and vegetables they like. Ava Parnass, the author of Hungry Feelings Not Hungry Tummy, insists that you should not over-lecture or over-control your kids in their food choices. This can often lead to rebellious behavior. Freedom in the kitchen is good but also be the subtle guides and steer them to the healthy options- subtly!

It is no longer Impossible to achieve a healthy eating regime for your children. It just takes a bit of patience and let your inner creativity shine. healthy eating can be fun and this what we need our little ones to see.