5 Effective Tips to Get Your Kids Eat Better
Posted on July 23 2018
With today's hectic schedule, peer pressure, and the TV commercials luring us to give in to the temptation of junk food, do you find yourself in a constant struggle to eat healthily?
The challenge is pretty much the same for children. Have you noticed how kids these days tend to be picky eaters or overweight? As parents, we don't want that. What we want is to instill healthy eating habits in our children so that they can make better food choices for life.
As the famous adage goes, "Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate." Do you model good eating behaviour to your kids or is your lifestyle built around convenience and takeout food? You don't have to be perfect every single time, but be a good example. Show your child how you like to chomp on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy snacks - with gusto!
Eating healthy have a profound effect on children's health - mentally, physically, and emotionally. Healthy food choices promote wellness and better development for their young minds and bodies and can also prevent conditions such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. As a family, make the effort to eat healthy. Be fully sold out of its long-term benefits such as better health, sharper minds, better disposition, and pleasant moods.
How to Teach Kids Eat Better
Get kids involved - When shopping for groceries and preparing meals, teach them the benefits of being healthy and the nutrition they can get from the different kinds of food . For younger kids, let them help you pick out fresh fruits and veggies from the grocery aisle while the older children can help you make the shopping list and choose which healthy recipes to include in your weekly menu.
Be clever with your recipes - Let's face it, kids and vegetables rarely get along. Getting kids to eat their greens is perhaps one of the most common fights in any household alongside bedtime and TV remote control. So how do we fix it? Disguise the taste of healthier foods. Mash potatoes or carrots and add them to beef patties. Experiment with dips. Cut vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes into thin slices and serve them with some ranch dressing or salsa. Add lentils to a beef stew or spinach to fruit drinks.
Make healthy snacks available and provide a variety - Load up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, fruit juices, milk, and the good stuff. You want them on hand instead of chips, cookies, and sodas. As much as possible, keep the options varied. Excite them with a new dish and better yet, let your kids help you out in the kitchen. That way, you will not just teach them about the importance of healthy food choices, but as well as imparting them a valuable life skill such as cooking. Spend an afternoon with your child looking out for easy yet healthy snack ideas your family can enjoy together.
Eat together - Sharing a meal together is so important to keep the family bonds strong and happy. Kids who get to experience such are more likely to eat healthily. If your busy schedule won't allow you to eat together three times a day, at least eat dinner as a family. Avoid obsessing about the calorie count around the table. Instead, make it a pleasant and enjoyable time for everyone. Share a good takeaway about your day, turn on some music, or you can also let your children invite their friends over.
Limit sugar - Sugar is not bad in general but too much of it can be bad for our health and can contribute to mood disorders and hyperactivity. It won't hurt to have a piece of their favourite candy or cookies, but make sure to explain that too many sweets can do their body more harm than good.
Children's health is our utmost priority as parents and guardians. Let's always find ways and alternatives for our little ones to get the best nutrition. Replace french fries with baked fries, ice cream with yoghurt, doughnuts with home baked bagels, or chocolate chip cookies with fig bars - the options are just as fun as they are plenty!
How do you deal with picky eaters and encourage healthy foods to your kids? Let us know in the comments section below!