As parents, all we want is for our kids to be happy and healthy. While there are many factors to consider here, one essential way of ensuring their wellbeing is establishing healthy eating habits from a young age. If you have a kid and are not sure how to approach this often tedious task, keep on reading for some useful tips.
Set a good example
The first thing you have to keep in mind is the fact that your kids look up to you. That is why you must set a good example for them. If you’re constantly snacking on unhealthy junk food and drinking fizzy drinks, they will also adopt this habit. You cannot expect them to eat broccoli and peas if you are not willing to eat them yourself. Even if you’re not a big fan of these foods, there are various ways to prepare them and who knows, maybe even you learn something new while looking to get your kids to eat healthily.
Have meals together
A great way to inspire them and keep them in check is having meals together. Of course, this will depend on the age of your kids, whether they go to school and whether you work away from home. However, you should do your best to have at least one meal a day while gathered around the dining table.
It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, make sure they get a chance to see you eating these healthy foods as well. Luckily, you can find many different recipes online for all sorts of meals so that they look appealing to kids as we all know that the sight is something that can stop them from even trying it. Plus, home-cooked meals (even when ordered in) are much healthier than all those fast food alternatives.
Teach them the importance of good food
Having your kids learn about the importance of food at an early age is also a great approach. For instance, start teaching them about the various nutrients they need and where they can get them from. By consuming premium quality meat, they will get all the essential proteins – but make sure they are aware that fresh meat is always much healthier than processed options.
Protein can also be found in fish, eggs, beans and many other foods. Then, explain how fruits and veggies help them grow and be strong. Don’t forget to include whole-grain bread and cereals so that they get enough fibre as well. You can make this into a game of sorts by putting various types of food on a wheel or chart and have them pick something for every meal. Or, think of a game you know your kids will be entertained with and implement healthy food choices into it.
Take them grocery shopping
In order to teach them about food, you should also consider taking them with you when you go grocery shopping. Show them which foods to focus on and which to stay away from. Teach them to read the labels so that they know which ingredients should be avoided. When they see you reaching for fresh produce, they will be inspired to do the same. This can be another game – for example, find fruits and veggies in different colours so that the meals looks interesting.
Involve them in the cooking process
Seeing as how you are teaching them about all sorts of foods and shopping for produce, you can also think about involving them in the cooking process. That way, they will see what the meals consist of and might not be so picky. Plus, if they put some effort into making the meal, they might be interested to see how it tastes. Depending on their age, you can have them peeling or chopping veggies, stirring the ingredients or just handing you the utensils.
Start with these five tips and, over time, you will see your kids adopt much healthier eating habits. Make it a game if that seems easier and involve them as much as you can when it comes to choosing and preparing meals.
Author Bio: Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.