Teaching Kids the Value of Healthy Food Choices
You are the first person who will introduce your kids to food. If you give a one-year-old a chocolate cupcake, that will be his first idea of food. If you are finding it hard to convince your kids to eat vegetables and fruits today, that’s because you never introduced them the way you should. Your mealtimes are a battle zone because you made it hard on yourself. You are the culprit here, so you should also start correcting these silly mistakes.
When your kids were born, they have no idea what’s nutritious or not. You will make that distinction for them. If you don’t want them to go through counseling workshops for their unhealthy eating habits, you should start teaching them how to choose healthy food over junk and sugar-packed foods.
Make Time to Cook at Home
Busy parents often find it hard to cook healthy and nutritious meals at home. You’re either employed or running a business and, at the same time, taking care of the family. You don’t have time to think about a healthy meal and make it. The best thing you can do when you’re short of time is to pass by McDonald’s and bring a box of chicken nuggets at home.
But if you want to make your kids eat healthily, you have to start figuring out a way to whip up healthy meals. Take charge of your schedule and find an hour or two to whip something up. On weekends, make a batch of healthy meals you can heat up during the busier days. Or, you can find some simple healthy recipes on the internet. Your meals don’t need to look like it came out of a French cookbook. They need to have the right amount of nutrients—green and leafy vegetables, protein-rich foods, and slices of fruits.
Be a Role Model
How do you expect your kids to eat healthily if you can’t do it yourself? If they see you eating junk food at home, that’s what they’ll want, too. If they see you munching on chocolate bars during snack time, they’ll think it’s okay to ask for sugary desserts, too. Children will imitate you. Making them eat vegetables while you gorge on potato chips is unfair. See to it that they see you eating the right food, too.
Experiment With Healthy Food
What are some of the food that your kids like? So, they love eating peanut butter? Try to mix up their biscuit sticks with carrot and celery sticks, as well as apple slices. Make them desserts out of vegetables and fruits. Try to incorporate mashed carrots into their mashed potatoes and squash into their mac and cheese. Be experimental in making your kids eat healthy foods.
Make Healthy Snacks Available
How do you expect your kids to eat healthily if they don’t have access to nutritious food? Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy beverages like milk and pure fruit juices in the pantry. If they see a bag of potato chips there, they’ll want to try that, of course. Keep those unhealthy junk foods away from your kids, so they don’t get used to eating them.
Take Them Grocery Shopping
Kids are naturally curious about a lot of things. They want to know where you get all those ingredients, too. Take them with you when you go shopping for food. Amaze them with the rows of colorful vegetables and fruits. Take them to the local farmer’s market and let them pick the fruits they want to try. Fruits and vegetables come in different colors and sizes. A trip to the farmer’s market will trigger their curiosity about food.
Cook With Them
Your kids will want to try the meals that they made themselves. You don’t have to make them do dangerous things like working with a sharp knife. Ask them to stir the bowl or toss the salad. Basic tasks like those will give them a primer on how to prepare their own healthy food in the future. While you have to go a little slower to accommodate these tiny tots, it’s well worth the effort because your kids will grow up with love for healthy food. That’s something you have to instill in them as early as childhood.
If you have a picky eater, be patient when making them try healthy food. Offer them in a variety of forms and dishes. You cannot force your kids to eat vegetables and fruits because that will make them hate the idea more. Encourage them to eat healthily. With time, patience, and perseverance, they’ll learn the value of nutritious foods.