Teaching your children how to eat healthily is one of the best gifts you can ever give them. They have to become their own eating experts eventually. Teaching them to trust their instincts allows for the exploration of different kinds of healthy food without fuss. Here are five tried-and-true tips for getting your kids to eat healthily:
1. If Your Kids Can Make It, They Are More Likely to Eat it.
If you’re dealing with picky eaters, let your kids plan and assist in making “build it yourself” meals like salads, sandwiches and wraps. Set out an array of healthy ingredients and let them do the rest. Use the opportunity to bond with your children by creating fun names out of the meals they produce. For example, try Juicy Dynamite Beets and Grilled X-ray Vision Carrots. Don’t shy away from playing around with creative meal presentations to elicit oohs and aahs at mealtimes.
Tip: Arrange food into shapes by using cookie cutters or small containers.
Making meal preparation fun doesn’t just get your kids to eat healthily; it also leaves them with fond memories in the kitchen with you and of mealtimes.
2. Strive for Balance
As a parent, you know how difficult it is to convince your child to finish all of the vegetables on their plate. Instead of fretting, take a step back. Bear in mind that your kid’s appetite fluctuates with their levels of activity, moods and growth. When you push your child to eat more food than they want, your child will learn to ignore their internal cues of hunger. According to a study, letting your child recognise satiety signals means they are less likely to grow up with appetite control issues or disordered eating.
3. Stick to a Meal Schedule
When your child can reliably understand when things are coming during their day, like set mealtimes, they will learn to develop healthier eating behaviours to help them for years to come. Having set times when you serve meals and snacks keeps nourishment a priority, even on the busiest days. When you have a set meal schedule, you can spend less time worrying about what you’re going to feed your kids and focus more on helping create a foundation of healthy eating behaviours for your family.
4. Provide Nutritious Options
By providing various healthy and nutritious options, your child is more likely to enjoy what they decide to eat rather than being forced to eat a specific food that they will more likely fuss over. From the meal selections you offer, let your child choose what to eat and how much of it they want. This grants your child an opportunity to feel like they have some say in the matter.
5. Eat Together
Encourage family-style dinners to enjoy a variety of healthy foods! Sitting down and creating an enjoyable experience around mealtimes should become a habit.