When I first started the journey transitioning my family from processed foods to their organic counterparts I too was met with some resistance. Initially, my 6 year old would say things like, “Yuck, the strawberries don’t look as pretty.” Or, “Mom, why isn’t this apple perfect and shiny?” The first time we switched from the standard blue box of Mac & Cheese to an organic version, their half eaten bowls left me feeling discouraged. My maternal instincts knew that this path was a healthier way that could help my children and our family live healthier with increased energy and vitality. I wanted that for my family which pushed me to continue along, experimenting with breads, pasta, chocolate and anything I could get my hands on that was organic. During those days, there were not as many organic options. Thankfully today with increased awareness about health, whole foods, processed food and organic food our choices are much more abundant!

The first step to getting your kids to eat healthy, whole and organic food is to begin to sample a variety of many new and different items. There are so many wonderful options out there that so many people pass by in the store aisle, opting for the same old staples. Trying a variety of items will expand your family’s palette and increase the amount of nutrients that you are putting into your body and those in your home. If you typically have carrots in your chicken soup, add parsnips as well. By exposing your kids to a variety of items and options they won’t be as likely to snub their noses at something that is new and looks foreign.

The second step is to make trying new food items fun! Make it into a game. For example, each night at dinner play the Description Game. Say, “Hey guys, look at this new and interesting item on our plates. Everyone take a bite and tell everyone at the table their opinion. What is the texture, what does it remind you of, does it taste salty or sweet?” This allows everyone to have their opinion and honors their thoughts. Kids like to feel that their opinion matters and they are less likely to be critical when they feel they are heard.

The third step to getting your kids to eat healthier is to keep offering the healthier version of the things they enjoy. Choose organic whenever possible. It is amazing how different an organic strawberry or blueberry tastes verses the one grown with pesticides. Although the initial response in my house was disappointment in the lack of luster that the strawberries or apples had, eventually the taste won them over! The organic versions just naturally taste better! Now, my kids prefer organic strawberries to their unhealthy counterparts.

The fourth step coupled with the third moves mountains. Keep offering the healthier version, but make your life easier by NOT bringing the unhealthy version into your home. It wasn’t an option in my home. If you wanted mac & cheese you were going to eat the organic type. When I became aware of the chemicals and ingredients in the name brand box, in good conscious I knew that, those types of products would not enter my home...no matter what my children said. Well, fast forward a number of years from that initial step, and my kids snub their noses at the original chemically processed name brand box!

The fifth step is to allow your children to be active participants in food preparation. I remember that initially the kids would look at avocados a little side ways. The texture was a little too slimy for them. I realized that by having them help me mash, squeeze lime juice and add some spices into the mixture, they were more open to trying their new creation. Getting acquainted with the food by helping to prepare it opened them up to the possibility, understanding and appreciation of what they were eating. This made them more willing to say yes to nutrient rich food. The added benefit is that I am able to spend time with them and we are all working together to create nutritious meals for the whole family!

These are a few ways to help your family enjoy nutrient rich super foods. These tips will help transition your family to healthier options that will create abundant health and vitality for the long run!

Author's Bio: 

Christa O'Leary is a motivational speaker, author and expert educating clients on how to design inspired living. Her focus is to help people live to their fullest potential by creating an Inspired Home, Healthy Body, Calm & Clear Mind and connecting to their Inner Light.

Her specialties for the home include Interior Design, Green Living, Feng Shui, and Creating A Healthy Non-Toxic Home. For the body she advocates holistic health through nutrition and an awareness of the foods we eat, ability to read & decipher labels and choose non-toxic Superfoods. Her programs include educating people on how to create a healthy body through Wellness Seminars and Detox Programs. For the Mind she focuses on teaching people about Meditation and Affirmations to create peace and stillness in our fast-paced world. Christa also helps individuals connect to their Soul Purpose & Inner Light to create inspired lives full of joy, vitality and abundance.