Do you find it hard to get your kids on board with eating healthy? Check out these tips for making it easier, and more fun.
If you're going to explain the concept behind healthy eating to your children, it's important to eat healthy yourself. Don't forget your children mirror everything you do and having a properly balanced meal will help incorporate healthier eating habits. We have a few tips, tricks, and methods you can take advantage of regarding this and get your kids on the right track.
Healthy eating is especially important for kids. They are growing and need a higher ratio of nutrients to weight than adults. On the other hand, they are still little and can eat small amounts. That's why quality is so important.
Offering choices to your kids at snack time is a great way to help foster decision-making skills and healthy eating habits. During these times, it's important to explain the nutritional benefits of each option. For example, when you provide a bowl full of salty chips and carrots with dip, talk about the vitamins and minerals found in the carrots as compared to the lower amount of nutrients in the chips. Kids may find it surprisingly enjoyable (and reassuring) to have a voice in what they eat; often, once they understand which option is healthier, they choose that one every time. Give it a try - you may be surprised by your kid's choice!
You won't always be there to help them with their decisions but you've taught them the right ones to make so when the time comes they'll be prepared.
Packing for a trip
It doesn't matter if you're going on vacation or just having a little day-long excursion, packing the right snacks helps promote healthy eating. You'll want to give your kids the opportunity to choose, but make sure they're deciding between healthy foods. Deciding between apples and oranges is a whole lot better than candy bars and potato chips. We could go on with other examples, but you get the idea.
Around the house
Encouraging healthy eating habits can be a difficult chore for parents, but involving your kids in meal preparation is a great way to start. Ask your kids to help out with dinner every night and use it as an opportunity to educate them on healthy ingredients and flavor combinations. Chop carrots while explaining how they can help improve eyesight, mince garlic while highlighting its immune-boosting properties, and find creative ways to incorporate veggies into familiar dishes. Not only will this exercise help instill healthy eating habits, but it’ll also provide your children with some basic cooking skills. Have fun with it and you might just get your entire family interested in healthy eating!
A great way to explain the importance of eating healthy is by growing a garden. It doesn't have to be big or anything, but letting your child grow their own is priceless. While growing you can talk about the benefits of eating fruit or vegetables. Then when they are ripe and ready to be eaten, the family can provide accolades. It will not only help with healthier eating, but they will also feel a sense of accomplishment in providing for the family.
Once you've gone over some of the important facts of whatever it is they chose to grow, it's time to add them to your next grocery trip. Teach your children how to read the labels and understand what the abbreviations mean. When they are familiar with the benefits to look for on a package, offer them the opportunity to choose specific foods for dinner that week. It will only enhance their knowledge of the proper nutrients to give their body.
Having more fun
When it comes down to it, the easiest way to promote healthy eating is by explaining the benefits. Things like being able to go outside and play or staying healthy keep you from extra trips to the doctor each year. You don't have to overdo it and make it a point to discuss different things at every meal, but when it's appropriate put it out there.
You'll know it's effective when your children are beginning to ask questions, offer suggestions, and even do most of the grocery shopping for you. It may sound like paradise to you, but to them, it's a learning experience and will promote healthier eating and a healthier child for you.
Show them graphics like the healthy plate and let them ask questions, they will have questions and they may even notice what parts of the plate they aren't getting enough of.
- Kids follow your example, the first step in teaching healthy eating is to eat healthy regularly to teach via example and actions.
- Offer choices at snack time and talk about them, for example, carrot sticks and dip or a bowl full of salty chips, it's often surprising which they choose when you talk about the goodness and health factors of each option.
- Pack your nutritious snacks, drinks, and meals for family outings instead of buying overpriced soda, candy, and junk foods.
- Ask them to help with meal prep and talk about the ingredients, carrots are good for seeing, garlic is good for immunity, and so on.
- Plant a garden, as having their vegetables, fruits and herbs will encourage wanting to use those and give them a sense of pride and accomplishment as well as something good to eat.
- Talk about what's on the label, food packaging is a great teaching tool because it tells them everything they need to know right there in print, encourages reading-age children to read the package on their own and find what's good and what's not so good.
- Talk about the health benefits, such as a stronger immune system. The less you're sick, the more fun you get as you will be able to do things you enjoy.
- Obesity may be a difficult thing to discuss with your child, but it is a very serious condition that is affecting our country, let them know the risks involved sometimes knowing is half the battle.