Good eating habits should be adopted as early as possible, not only when the health conditions begin to appear. Teaching children to adhere to a healthy diet is of benefit to them both at that early stage and later in life. Kids often tend towards junk food which is more tantalizing to their taste buds. Your plate of vegetables is to them boring, old people’s food. Here are some tips to get your children eating healthy:
- Make a Schedule: When kids are home all day on weekends or during the holidays, they tend to binge eat anything they lay their hands on. A schedule will ensure that they eat at the correct time and the right portions. A typical schedule will contain the 3 main meals and 2 snacks, one in the mid-morning and the other in the afternoon. This ensures that they’re well fed, eliminating the instances of random bites which are most likely to be junk food.
- Set the example: The younger children will copy what you do. Have you noticed that kids will sometimes leave their plate and want to feed off yours? This is a good chance to illustrate healthy eating by what you put on your plate. Load up the vegetables and eat them with pleasure, and soon enough they follow suit.
- Start with Tiny Portions: Children will hate having a whole bunch of greens on their plate, but they can have a single spoon, if only for your sake. It is still worth it. If the salad is served separately, use small plates and bowls. They will make an attempt to finish and train their taste buds in the process. With time, the idea of a rice vegetable dish will not sound so bad.
- Prepare together: Kids will be more enthusiastic about food when they’re involved in the preparation process. Bring out the raw vegetables and make some fuss about their shapes and colours. Let them get involved in chopping the cucumber, cojet, kales, cabbage, carrots and so on. Let them help in setting up the dinner table and serving. In addition to feeling grown-up, they will be eager to partake the fruits of their labour.
- Eliminate Unhealthy Foods: No matter how hungry your children are, they cannot eat what is not there. Have healthy foods in your kitchen. Kick out the junk. Even for snacks, have fruits or cereals. Have fruit and vegetable juice instead of sugary soft drinks. Shopping time is also challenging as the kids want to pick all the junk they see in adverts. If they’re too unruly, go shopping without them. Let healthy food options be the norm rather than the exception in your house.
- Limit other than Ban: It should not be a rule that your kids will never take a bite of French fries or a burger. Remember they can access them elsewhere, like at school or their friend’s houses. Let them have those pastries and soft drinks once in a while. Otherwise they will eat them with a vengeance in your absence.
As the kids grow older, you can no longer trick them into eating what you want. You’ll simply have to explain to them the impact of their food choices. Remember soon they’ll leave your house and you’ll have little control over what they eat, and the nutrition lessons you teach them now is all they’ll have.