In order for healthy eating to become a habit for kids, parents have to make it apart of the everyday life of their kids. If left to their own devices, many kids would choose to eat cookies, candy, chips and cakes for every meal. However, if parents can teach their kids good eating habits from the start, it will be easier for kids to maintain those habits into their adult years and significantly reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Here are 6 ways to help you child eat more healthy:
1. Set a good example- Parents may not realize how much children look to us on how to interpret everything in their world and food is not exception. If kids see you eating fruits and veggies and opting for something healthy for a snack, they’ll be more inclined to follow your lead.
2. Let kids help- If kids are able to help create the food, they will be more likely to want to eat it. You’ll also be able to throw in a lesson about food names, colors and following directions.
3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day- Ideally, breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day. Being able to start the day on a full stomach will help kids concentrate in school better and maintain the energy that they will need to make it through the day.
4. Don’t reward with treats- It’s never a good idea to use sugary treats as incentives for teaching your child. If you are trying to potty train or teach your child how to ride a bike giving hugs, positive reinforcement and stickers are better options than candy. You won’t run the risk of creating the candy-as-reward monster and your kids won’t expect candy whenever they accomplish a task.
5. Special treats are ok- It’s ok for kids to have a cookie, candy or chips in moderation. It’s when you combine all 3 and all in one day every day that it becomes a problem. Also, special treats are just that, special, kids will appreciate them more and not assume that they should be apart of their daily mealtime lives.
6. Accept your child- As children grow, they can be tall and thin one minute and short and plump the next. Children’s bodies are ever changing when they are young. The best option is to make sure that you are doing your part in making sure they are healthy by keeping them active and eating right.