Looking for tips to get those kids eating healthy? These healthy eating ideas can jumpstart your kids into eating healthy now, so they can have a long future of health and happiness. Give it a try now, it’s never too late to make the right choice.
Healthy Eating Habits in Your Kids
Childhood obesity is on the rise, as is diabetes, and these scary epidemics can have lifelong effects on your children. Reinforcing healthy habits when they’re young is essential to making sure your kids live long, happy lives. Incorporate these tips and tricks into your family’s eating habits today to ensure your kids are the healthiest they can be.
7 Tips To Developing Healthy Eating Habits in Your Kids
1. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Your family won’t change overnight, so don’t expect your kids to immediately start gravitating towards fruits and veggies without some time. If you don’t already have healthy eating habits in place, start slow and build up to a transformed lifestyle. Bring more fruits and veggies into the house, avoid heading out for fast food meals, and pack your children’s lunches instead of allowing them to buy the often unhealthy options at school. Make a commitment to small changes that will be sustainable over time and won’t shock your kids’ systems.
2. Allow Them to Choose
Our children are smart, and they can make healthy decisions if given the opportunity. Younger children listen to their bodies, and eat when hungry, not when bored (a terrible habit most of us have fallen victim to). If you’re strictly dictating what they have to eat, they’re bound to rebel when they’re out of sight, meaning they’ll grab all the junk food they can while they have the freedom to. You can make the choices easier for them by only offering variations of healthy foods. The more “normal” healthy food becomes in their daily life, the less junk food they’re apt to eat or crave.
3. Make Healthy Eating Fun
Eating healthy foods shouldn’t be hard or feel like a punishment, and you can make healthy eating habits become a fun activity in your home. Each Sunday, have the kids help you prepare their lunches for the week. Find ways to be creative with fruit, purchase little-personalized chef’s aprons for your kids to wear during the cooking process (dressing up makes everything feel a bit more exciting), and let your kids plan the menu on certain nights. You can also find ways to make healthier versions of the food items kids often love, like pizza with a cauliflower crust.
4. Be a Role Model
This is arguably the toughest but most important step when it comes to teaching your children healthy eating habits. It’s not realistic that you’ll be the perfect healthy eater from now on, and it will be a gradual process, but the better you can do, the better your kids will do. Beyond just eating healthy, you’ll want your kids to also learn healthy exercise habits, so consider a gym membership and show your little ones just how important being active is.
5. A Grocery Store Adventure
It’s important to teach your children how to grocery shop, and you can take them along with you to the store to start their nutritional education early. Point out how colorful and fun fresh produce can be, allow your kids to choose a few vegetables or fruits that they would like to eat during the week, and avoid the unhealthy but enticing rows filled with sugary cereals and salty chips that will be tempting to both you and your kids. Your children are more likely going to be willing to eat a healthy dish if they had a hand in the preparation of it.
6. Keep the House Stocked
One reason junk food is so tempting is because of how easy it is to eat and transport around. If you want your kids to snack healthier, you’ll need to provide easily accessible healthy snacks. Chop up carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli that can be grabbed out of the fridge easily, keep different fruits washed and bagged in the refrigerator, and keep chips and other common greasy snacks out of the house.
7. Don’t Use Food As a Reward
Food should be considered fuel, not a prize to be won. Giving kids sweets and junk food as a reward for good behavior can cause them to place more value on worse foods. It also makes the better, healthier foods that they should be eating constantly feel more like a punishment than a step towards health. While your kids are bound to have junk food every once in a while, make sure you’re not reinforcing the idea that junk food is to be treasured while healthy vegetables and fruit are to be hated.