Every parent knows how it’s difficult to encourage healthy eating habits in kids. But with a few sneaky ways, you can easily get your kids to eat healthier so that they won’t even notice it.
As a parent, you need to encourage you child to eat healthier food. Not only will they grow up healthier, but they’ll also have a healthy attitude towards food and they’ll teach their kids to eat healthier too.
1. Don’t lecture
I hated it when my mom lectured me about the starving kids around the world and how terrible those chips and fries were. While it’s important to explain to your kids that eating fast food and packaged foods is unhealthy, make sure you don’t lecture them. It’s absolutely unhelpful and you’ll only encourage them to associate lectures and stress with meal times.
2. Set a good example
One of the most important ways to get your kids to eat healthier is to set good examples. You will never encourage healthy eating habits in your kids if you eat unhealthy food. Eating with your kids and showing them that you enjoy eating healthy foods will help encourage your kids to eat healthier. If you often skip your breakfast, it’s no wonder that your kids don’t want to eat in the morning. Or, if you consume packaged goods such as potato chips, candy bars, or pretzels, your children will see that they can eat them too.
3. Cook together
Get your kids to help you prepare food to show them how to make healthy meals. This is a perfect way to get them interested in healthy eating. Ask your little ones to arrange foods on the plate, measure or stir something. Or, let them add their favorite fruits to the fruit salad. They will like it!
4. Introduce new foods when they are hungry
Introducing new foods to kids is tricky at times. I remember when I introduced salad to my little niece. She turned her nose up in disgust and told that she hated veggies. Now, it’s her favorite salad. What’s the trick? Well, the next day when she was hungry I made salad and she ate it with a big pleasure. I introduced plenty of healthy salads to her this way. We often cook together and she likes to try different vegetables and fruits. If you are going to introduce new foods to your child, try to do it at the beginning of meal times. If they don’t like the new food, try again the next day or try mixing different veggies into their favorite meals such as pasta sauce.
5. Healthy snacks
There are so many sugary and salty snacks available for kids these days, that it seems impossible to encourage your kids to eat healthy. But, when you keep a few healthy snacks, such as raw vegetable sticks, cheese slices, and some fruit on hand, your children can eat healthier between meals.
6. Cut down on sugar
Children love sugar, but eating too many foods and drinking beverages with added sugar can cause numerous health problems, including obesity and tooth decay. Sure, you can’t be with your kids 24 hours a day and when they are at school, they can reach for sugary snacks, even if you prepare healthy snacks. Try to inform your children about the dangers of tooth decay and obesity if they eat too much sugar, and don’t give them sugar-sweetened beverages.
7. Make exercise a habit
If you are trying to encourage your kids to lead a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to make exercise a habit. Again, setting a good example is the key here. Start eating healthy and exercising together on a regular basis. Nowadays kids are leading sedentary lifestyles due to the TV and computer games. Encourage fun outdoor games and activities wherever possible so that your kids can enjoy an active lifestyle daily.
Getting your kids to eat healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. A few little tricks can do wonders. Do you have any tips for encouraging healthy eating in kids?