How to Encourage Your Child to Make Healthy Food Choices
A balanced diet gives your child the required nutrients that are necessary for their healthy growth and development and provides them the energy they need. However, a lot of junk food options are available that are not healthy for your child.
As parents, you know what is suitable for your little ones and try your best to provide them with healthy food options. If you want to encourage your kids to make a healthy food choice, you should not hover over them.
Here are a few tips that can help you encourage your child to make healthy food choices:
Your Actions Speak Louder than Words
Children try to copy their parents. You should not always push them about food choices; instead, show them a healthier option by making that choice yourself. Eventually, they will realize what they should be eating. This way, you will not become the food enforcer, and there will also be less resistance from their side.
Having an Eating Schedule Is a Must
If you feel full, you will not look for junk food. The same goes for kids. They need to eat every three to four hours. If you take care of their eating schedules, they will not become cranky. Also, if you are going out with your kids, pack some water bottles and home cooked food or fruits so that they don’t have to eat unhealthy or junk food.
Come Up with Some Alternatives
You can treat them with healthier dessert and snack options. You can replace store bought fries and chips with homemade chips, and to enhance the flavor, you can make yogurt-based dips instead of mayo.
Don’t Miss the Big Meals
Breakfast is an important meal of the day as it keeps you energized the whole day. Make sure your kid is getting a fiber-filled diet in the morning. You can make pancakes, multigrain bread sandwiches filled with veggies. There should also be a right mix of carbs, proteins, and fruits in the dinner.
Children tend to avoid new foods. You should introduce new foods slowly and creatively. You can make different shapes of pancakes, give funny names to food items, make mini sandwiches, etc. to make new foods interesting.
Involve Your Kids
Sometimes you can involve your kids into meal preparation as they will be more interested in eating what they have prepared. Allow them to create their portion on the plate. This will help them know about healthy portion sizes.
Let them have some ‘not very healthy foods’ occasionally or on vacations. You can often treat them in their favorite restaurant and allow them to have cookies or sugary products so that these foods do not become more appealing.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Don’t give them soft and energy drinks that contain added sugar, artificial flavoring, or caffeine. Offer healthy choices such as fresh fruit juices.
Teach Them How to Read Labels
Show to your child how to read food labels that give calorie counts and nutritional facts about that food. This will help them know whether they are taking in healthy and nutritious food.
Eat Together as a Family
Make sure that your family eats lunch or dinner together. Getting your whole family involved during meals is the best way to teach your child about healthy eating options.
Try these tips to help your kids develop a healthy relationship with good and balanced food.