Helping children learn to eat healthy, well-balanced meals can be tricky, but Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, MHS, RDN, LD, CDE, FAND, a dietitian at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, offers three tips for parents to make it more fun for kids to eat better.

  1. Take them shopping. “Have your children help create the menu, shop for the food and help with preparation,” Tanner-Blaisar says. “That way, they’ll be invested in the meal and want to eat it, too.”
  2. Put it in plain sight. “I think a fruit bowl is a great idea!” Tanner-Blasiar says. “Putting fruits out where they can be easily seen and grabbed for a snack makes them easier to eat.” Tanner-Blasiar says that making healthy foods convenient will make children more likely to eat them.
  3. Ask what they’re hungry for. “Figure out what unhealthy foods your children like, and find healthy alternatives,” Tanner-Blasiar says. “If they’re looking for something salty and crunchy, offer some low-fat crackers or popcorn.”