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10 moms share smart tips to get kids eat healthy food at home

10 readers share their tricks to get their children (and reluctant adults) to eat healthy. Here are their responses on what works for them... Take tips and get inspired to do more for your family!

Ritwika Roy Mutsuddi: Make it interesting. Getting my family to eat vegetables is a big challenge; they love non-vegetarian food. Thankfully my children are relatively non-fussy and never leave anything unfinished on their plate. I don't store any junk food in my refrigerator or kitchen. The children are allowed to have chips or colas only once in 2 to 3 months. Parathas stuffed with eggs, spinach, methi and paneer; dals with greens in them; Chinese-style mixed-veg fried-rice; whole wheat pasta; sandwiches loaded with veggies and chicken/egg, are ways in which I make my family eat healthy yet tasty food. Also, I talk to my children regularly about the many benefits of healthy eating habits.

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Suchitra Saxena: Begin Early. From an early age, I began feeding my children healthy yet delicious dishes such as palak paneer, baigan bharta, gajar ka halwa, bharwan karela and so on. If you start them young, they will learn to develop a taste for the veggies. Mine have!

Jyoti Singh Chandel: Spice it up. My 3-year-old loves spicy food, so I try to make salads of sprouts in the form of chat - with onion, capsicum, tomatoes, lemon juice and spices...much like behl puri. Also, I stuff parathas with a mix of grated vegetables and spices and prepare clear vegetable soup on a regular basis.

Priyanka Bhatia Aswal: I am the cook! One of the best decisions that I took in the name of health was to get rid of the cook and  prepare the meals myself. There's a satisfaction in knowing exactly what's going into the dishes my family is eating. Also, it's about leading by example. Since my husband and I are into eating healthy, home-cooked food and exercising through the week, our son too has adopted the same lifestyle habits. He enjoys his eggs and milk, parathas with butter, paneer and curd, and loves all fruits. Thankfully the school environment and exposure these days have made children more conscious about their health. My son knows what harm  junk food can do to him, thanks to his teachers' constant nagging.

Seema Sethi: Keep It Simple. I fill a variety of sauteed veggies in parathas or rotis to make kathi rolls for the family. Everyone loves them.

Runa Sen: Mix-and-Match approach. Since I'm a Bengali, I routinely make dals with vegetables - such as lauki dal, mooli dal, tomato dal and karela dal. Adding a different vegetable every day rescues the dal from becoming a "boring staple". Also, the dal gets a unique flavour with every veggie added to it.

Mary Deepthy: health wise-up. I cook healthy food for my family and try to include them in meal planning, purchasing of groceries, and even planting veggies. From brinjal, cluster beans, bush beans, carrot, radish, tomato, capsicums to okra, my toddler and I plant together, and then we harvest together. This makes him eager to eat the vegetables that he's grown on his own. In fact, he even boasts about this at his playschool. Also, I try to club two complementing veggies together to make the dish more fun - such as mushrooms and corn, and beans and carrots. Sometimes I add a dash of coconut milk or cream in curries to make them tasty - a spoonful does not harm anyone, and children definitely need some "good" fat. I give the regular idli a makeover by adding grated carrots, raisins or cashews. Besides increasing the nutrition value of the dish, it makes for a colourful and interesting spread. Once a week, I make sure I bake using organic whole wheat flour instead of white flour. It's healthy and different.

Nazifa Burud: Start Smart. My daughter is five years old and my son is two. I started feeding them veggies from the time they began teething, and they love eating the reds, greens, yellows, whites and purples. They also enjoy eating salads,  especially ones using  iceberg lettuce. I  often experiment with different dressings.

Vani koppar: what they like. My children love spring rolls, so I load them up with veggies. At least this way they get the required nutrition.

DeBalina Mitra Chanda: Involve them. My son loves to help me in the kitchen. And when he beats an egg, or adds sauces or chopped veggies to the pan, he feels a sense of ownership of the dish. I try to get him involved in the cooking - measure the oil, throw in the salt - while educating him about the health benefits of each ingredient as we go on. Hopefully, this will help him feel responsible for his own health. Apart from this, since my husband doesn't like eating most vegetables, I try a sneak approach to tackle this. I puree lauki, pumpkin, carrots, palak and other veggies into curries, subzies, and even meat dishes, so that the required nutrients are included in his diet.

Resource: 10 moms share smart tips to get kids eat healthy food at home
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