It’s an age-old struggle that isn’t anything new— frustrated parents have been trying to get their kids to eat healthier for centuries. It’s not uncommon for kids to want to reach for something less than healthy rather than a nutritious snack like a fruit or a vegetable. The good news is not you can set your child up for success with their future eating habits by getting on started as soon as possible making healthy choices.
It all comes down to your approach. Take a look at some of the best tips for improving your child’s nutrition and helping them make healthy food choices that continue into their adult years.
Even though you might not like having to be a “kitchen policeman,” sometimes that’s what it takes. Make sure that your children know that there are boundaries and rules to follow when it comes to their dietary habits. That means that even when you’re gone, and your nanny is there, they still must respect the rules.
Set ground rules like no eating ice cream whenever they see fit, or freely grabbing potato chips when they want. Until a certain age, most children should be given restricted access to the kitchen cupboards. They may lack the self-control that older kids have until they reach a later age.
Be a Good Example
One of the best ways to create healthy habits in your children is by leading by example. Telling your children they should eat their vegetables and failing to do so yourself isn’t going to be a very convincing strategy. Instead, show your children the kind of eating behaviors that you’d like them to mimic. The more you can lead by example, the more they’ll be inclined to follow in your footsteps.
Provide Healthy Options
Another one of the best ways to encourage healthy eating is to provide them with plenty of choices that encourage healthful meals. It’s no surprise why your kids aren’t eating great foods if junk food is the only thing they can find in the kitchen. Try to give them plenty of choices of every color of the rainbow period from vegetables to cheeses to fruits, and as a result, you’ll teach them till love wholesome foods.
Many kids are resistant to try new flavors and foods. However, when they prepare it themselves, they may be more willing to try it. Try to find different recipes together that you can try to make as a team. By preparing and cooking together, they’ll be much more enthusiastic about healthy choices.
It’s also a great learning experience for cooking in their later years. Kids who cook with their parents as children are more likely to continue cooking home-cooked meals as adults. Home-cooked meals mean less processed foods, fresher ingredients, and overall improved nutrition.