Old habits die hard, so it’s always a good idea to get your kids to learn healthy eating from a young age. Having a nutritionally balanced diet is a huge component of maintaining a growing child’s mental and physical health, alongside fitness and adequate sleep.
Kids can be fussy eaters – this is something that is well-known around the world. This might be tough to deal with, but it’s important you keep trying and introduce your kids to healthy foods early on in their life.
One habit people are adopting at an increasing rate is avoiding takeaway dinner and cooking more often at home, because they know what is in the meal. This is especially useful when you can make a favourite like Mexican enchiladas that your children already like.
A lot of parents are starting to take advantage of services that conveniently deliver easy to cook recipes, because this makes feeding their family healthy food easier and faster than going shopping. It also removes the chance for the kids to throw a tantrum in the supermarket and demand food that you don’t want them eating!
Once they are familiarised with healthy foods, they will be more likely to reach for them voluntarily and less likely to demand chocolate at the checkout counter. This will help to promote healthy habits later on in life, and encourage them to recognise the benefits of having a well-balanced diet long after they leave the nest and start preparing their own meals.
Here are four tips to promote healthy eating habits in your kids.
Get them involved
Involving the kids throughout the cooking process can encourage them to eat a meal they might have otherwise rejected. This is a great idea for an activity to do with your children. Depending on the age and maturity of your children, make sure that you use any sharp utensils needed beforehand and store them safely away.
One great idea is to let your children help you to make a healthy pizza or burrito, by allowing them to build their own using a selection of ingredients you have pre-prepared for them. There’s no shortage of funky food ideas that you can prepare with your kids to make the cooking process more enjoyable for them.
Your child is likely to want to try everything out – even when there are vegetables. They’ll also be more easily convinced to eat a healthy meal if they participate in making it. Additionally, they can get familiarised with making their own food – an essential life skill.
Lead by example
Your kids see more than you know, and they’re likely to unconsciously adopt all of your eating habits simply by living with you. Because of this, it’s important that you be a good role model when it comes to food. Try to adjust your own eating habits if they can be improved.
After all, why should your child avoid chocolate bars if you’re snacking on them routinely?
Your child is more likely to be encouraged to eat something healthy if they are surrounded by healthy eaters. Swap the cheeseburger for a salad wrap or something that is more nutritious.
Take this as an opportunity to transform your own eating habits while also fostering good ones in your children. You can experience the journey as a family andcook fantastic meals together!
Teach them that healthy can be yummy
Healthy can be yummy, and once your kids realise that they’ll be less opposed to the greens you put in front of them. By associating healthy ingredients with good flavours and meals your children like, you can help to form a good impression of said ingredients.
A good way to do this is to createhealthy snacks for your kids. They can even be fun – introduce different colours and textures so that your children enjoy the experience of eating them. Some classic ideas include fruits with nut butter as well as celery and hummus.
Fruits are sweet and colourful, so what’s not to love? Smoothies and frozen yoghurt pops are also great healthy snacks for the summer. You can disguise the taste of spinach in smoothies by blending it with sweet fruit.
Give them choices
Aside from teaching your kids that healthy food can be good for you, allow them to choose what they want to eat. By presenting them with a spread of healthy foods, they’ll be more likely to comply as they’ll be picking for themselves.
Make sure that you have nutritious options available around your home. Minimise the amount of junk food in cupboards, so that your kids get accustomed to eating healthy and don’t try to sneak treats behind your back.
Nuts, fruits, and seeds are some great options for snacking that will allow your kids to satisfy their hunger without blowing their carb intake or affecting the nutrition of their diet. Multivitamins can help to make up for any nutrients your children could be missing out on.
It can be hard to foster these healthy eating habits in your children, but you should never stop trying! They’ll be sure to thank you for it later in life, even if they chuck a few tantrums along the way.