Getting kids to eat healthy foods can be challenging, especially when their taste buds long for non-nutritious delights. As a parent, you cannot help but worry about their eating habits when they become adults.
Fortunately, I’ve listed ten healthy eating habits for your kids. Visit here if you want to learn more about parenting,
Avoid Skipping Breakfast
Perhaps your kids only eat breakfast because you prepared it, or it’s part of your family’s morning routine. However, the breakfast routine can quickly slip when they reach their teenage years.
Even if it’s just a banana and a glass of milk, teach your children that having some food in their stomachs gives them a significant advantage for the day. Tell them that it also makes weight control easier and provides energy for work, study, and play.
Trust Their Stomach
Although kids know to stop eating when their stomachs feel full, overly concerned parents can override this natural regulating mechanism.
Teach your older kids to listen to their stomachs and questions such as, “Is my stomach full? Will eating those extra cookies or biscuits make me sick?”
The main goal here is to make kids aware of the various signs around them that tempt them to eat even when they are not hungry.
Use the Dining Table
There are correct times for everything. Too frequently, however, the ‘time to eat’ is always.
Eating at the table minimises grazing, snacking, and choking risks. It also teaches social skills such as table manners, appropriate meal conversations, and patience while others finish.
A US study also discovered that children from families who regularly eat meals together show greater resilience, stronger self-esteem, and better connections with their classmates.
It was also revealed that families who eat together are twice as likely to consume the necessary daily nutrient intake and less junk food.
As much as we’d prefer that our children eat in minutes rather than hours, it won’t be long before we scold them to slow down and chew their food ‘correctly’ rather than devouring it.
This is a perfect moment to tell them that it takes around 20 minutes for the message that they are full to go from their stomachs to their brains. Eating slowly is therefore beneficial to weight control. It also allows them to converse – preferably without their mouths complete!
Drink Their Water
Give your kids their water bottles and urge them to bring them whenever they go out. Keep sweet drinks as ‘occasional’ rather than ‘daily’ foods.
Start them out on the water when they are toddlers. Avoid buying juice, and limit juice drinks to holidays and special occasions.
In words that your kids can understand, explain that their body needs water for exercise and for their brain to concentrate. You can put a sponge in water and compare their body to a dried-out sponge.
Let Them Know Other Tastes
Your kids will thank you for training their taste buds to know and love a variety of flavours other than sugar, fat, and salt.
A smart strategy is to inform your children that trying new foods is a sign that they are maturing. Praise them for trying fresh meals, even if they don’t finish them.
Encourage children to try the samples in the deli or supermarket. You can also take them grocery shopping and let them select a new food.
Food is Neither Punishment Or Reward
Threatening to withhold food as a punishment may cause kids to worry that they will go hungry.
As a result, your kids may attempt to eat whenever they can.
Similarly, when certain foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may believe they are superior or more valued than other foods. For example, advising youngsters that if they eat all of their vegetables, they will get dessert sends the wrong message about vegetables.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Regular exercise is a critical habit to instil in your children. It strengthens bones and muscles, burns surplus energy, and maintains weight.
Try to lessen their time in traffic, television, computers, and homework as they prevent your child’s active lifestyle.
Let Them Help in Cooking
Children who learn to cook are more likely to become adventurous eaters, so allow them to help you cook.
You can also buy a children’s cookbook for inspiration. Then, as they gain confidence, allow them to make dinner weekly.
Some kid-friendly recipes to get them started may include spaghetti and meatballs, homemade pizza, and roast chicken.
Eat Fast Food Less Frequently
Although some fast food restaurants offer healthy options for children, it is still not a good idea for families to eat fast food daily. You can’t be sure they’ll still choose the “healthy alternatives” as they grow older.
There are numerous fast food alternatives. You can try making your pizza, burgers, or burritos with your kids.
Setting your kids healthy eating habits ensures that they grow into strong adults. By teaching them these ten habits I’ve listed, you can rest assured that they’ll grow up to be just that.