Simple Healthy Eating Tips for Kids
In order for your child to eat healthy it is going to require them to understand that you are in charge but it is not half as bad as you may think.
If your whole family eats healthy, this means it is more likely your child will eat healthy as they thrive on learning through peers and role models.
If you are trying to feed your child vegetables and you are sitting next to them eating chips it is not going to work!
What you need to do initially is get into a routine.
It will take time if your family has not followed a routine before, but if you sit together for all 3 meals this is going to help develop their healthy eating habits.
Remain consistent every day and ensure the meal time habit includes vegetables in the main dish or salads and fruit for dessert afterwards.
When your child does well try not to reward them with too much candy or ice cream, instead offer your attention and time, give them hugs and kisses and lots of smiles.
Children learn habits around their behavior so if your child grows up rewarding themselves with food when something goes right; they are likely to comfort themselves with food when things go wrong.
You can help to develop healthy eating habits right from the beginning by not having unhealthy sugary and processed snacks in the house.
These are not good for you or your child so you should therefore leave them in the grocery store!
Encourage them to drink water over sugary sodas.
If they are craving a flavor in their drink squirt some lemon or lime in and add ice and you have a refreshing, flavoured nutritional drink. It is also very cost effective.
Your child is going to be influenced by their friends as well as what they watch on the T.V.
It is going to be tough to tell them they can’t eat what their friends are eating or have that burger they have just seen on the T.V but with persistence and good role models at home this will overcome the outside influences.
You should try and eat at home as a family as much as possible as consistency is key.
It will be very hard to follow healthy eating habits when you are sat in front of a menu that offers fried foods, appetizers and desserts.
You should plan your meals before you go to the grocery store and that way you won’t be tempted to buy high fat, high salt and processed foods off the shelf when you get there.
Everyone loves a snack and will get cravings now and again even the adults.
When you go food shopping, have a look for substitutes of the high calorie snacks and make sure you have plenty of washed, cut fruit at hand for the kids and adults to eat.
Invest in an apple core slices, this will make it so much quicker for you to cut up apples.
You can even add a spoonful of peanut butter with the apple and your kids will think they are eating a caramel apple!
Get your kids to help with the shopping list and the grocery shopping as this is going to help the whole process work better as they will feel involved and are more likely to stick to it.
It is important to introduce new foods slowly and be prepared for them to turn their nose up at it at first. But again, persistence is key and keep encouraging them, make sure you are eating these foods as well and this will set a good example for them.
HelpGuide: Nutrition for children and Teens
KidsHealth: 10 Tips for Parents
Kids Health: Healthy eating
National Diabetes Education Program: Tips for Kids with Type 2 Diabetes
CardioSmart American College of cardiology: FactSheet
LetsMove: Eat Healthy