In the bustling and busy lives of all the family, it can be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. If you want your children to eat healthy though, there are some tips you can take to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.
The family who eats together well, eats healthy together. Family meals are a great time to catch up on each other’s days and stay close. Parents are able to stay in the know about their children’s lives, and children (though they may attend begrudgingly) enjoy the predictability and routine it offers. You get to choose what the entire family is eating by preparing healthy meals, ensuring that your kids get those fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.
Keep healthy options in the house
It’s kind of difficult for your child to grab that snack of chips or cookies when they aren’t kept in the house. The kids will scour the cupboards for what is available to eat, and since you have control of what is inside those cupboards, why not make them full of healthy options? Keep handy snacks like fruit and veggies readily available in the fridge. However, it is important to not place a ban on all junk food, as this will lead to the children feeling deprived. Instead, perhaps designate one day a week to having those treats available in the house. reward to because of the lack of school, but that one day a week they can have a bag of chips and some chocolate after dinner.
Lead by example
Be a role model for your children and lead by example. Children emulate the important people in their lives, and the best way to encourage healthy eating habits is by doing it yourself. Eat those fresh fruits and veggies and abide by the family tradition of Junk-food Friday. Telling your kids they can’t have any of the chips in the bag you have just opened and are eating sends the wrong message and may lead to feelings of resentment among the children. It is important to be positive, and speak positively about yourself. Parents who complain about their eating habits and have poor body image often pass these feelings and sentiments on to their offspring.
Involve the Kids
Kids love to feel that they are being helpful, so try to include them in meal preparation as often as possible. Make them feel they are of service by aiding in the meal preparation. You can give them age-appropriate tasks like chopping vegetables or adding ingredients into sauce. Some children may even enjoy helping to plan what to have for dinner or enjoy going grocery shopping with you. Allowing children to be a part of the family meals paves the way for them in adulthood as well. Children who are aware of healthy choices and familiar with cooking, picking out healthy foods at the grocery store, or reading labels, are prepared for those steps when they are out on their own and very likely to continue the practice. Allow children to help you now so they become self-sufficient adults.