Tips to Help Your Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits That Will Benefit Them for A Lifetime
The scene of a kid refusing to eat their broccoli is a far too familiar feeling. Out of all the vegetables in the world, kids seem to hate broccoli the most. Maybe this dislike for broccoli is because it’s green and has a weird appearance, or maybe it’s because it smells funny when cooked. Let’s face it, kids don’t like ultimatums, so when forced to eat their broccoli, it’s no surprise when they pout or throw a tantrum. This struggle is just another part of dinner time for many parents. But there is hope!
If you take these small steps to introduce healthy foods and make nutrition fun, you can help develop healthy eating habits for kids that will benefit them for a lifetime:
1. Find Healthy Alternatives to Their Favorite Foods
Look for healthy recipes for your kids’ favorite foods to cook for dinner and snacks. Kids will be tempted to try these healthier options if they are more familiar with the names. The following recipes might give you inspiration for healthy alternatives to kids’ favorite foods:
2. Get Your Kids Involved with Cooking
Whether at home or a cooking class, you can make cooking healthy meals a fun activity to do with your kids. When kids are involved with the cooking process, they will be proud of their accomplishments and more inclined to eat the healthy meal they made.
3. Make Reading Nutrition Labels a Fun Game
When grocery shopping with the kids, get them to list out the important nutritional facts found on the labels of foods. As they learn to recognize what to look for and what to avoid, they can learn to make healthy choices and shopping habits that will stick with them as they get older. More than calories, teach them to look at the sugar content in foods, and the serving size.
4. Be A Good Role Model
If you show your kids that you are also taking steps to eating healthier, they will be less likely to resist the healthy foods. It wouldn’t be fair if Mom and Dad can eat chips but the kids can’t, so try to develop healthy eating habits together as a family.
5. Don’t Force Your Kids to Overeat
Serve small portions so that your kids don’t overeat. Also, avoid asking them to finish everything on their plate. If they are no longer hungry, they shouldn’t keep eating. Overeating is an unhealthy eating habit you can avoid early on.
6. Always Be Positive About Healthy Foods
As mentioned before, kids will often resist when parents tell them what they can’t do. Don’t make eating healthy seem like a chore. Instead, be positive about the food you are serving, tell your kids what goodness comes from the food, and praise them for trying it.
7. Always Eat Dinner Together As A Family
If you sit down to eat dinner with your family every night, your kids won’t be able to overeat and snack in front of the TV or computer. Family meal time is a great way to spend time with the family and catch up on everyone’s day while enjoying healthy meals.
If you slowly start to introduce healthy foods and teach your kids about healthy eating, they will be more inclined to try new foods and make healthy choices. As a parent, you can develop healthy eating habits for your kids so they will grow up to lead healthy lifestyles—and maybe even grow to love broccoli!