How To Get Your Children Involved In Healthy Eating Habits

How To Get Your Children Involved In Healthy Eating Habits

September 04, 2017

Do you fight with your children to get them to eat healthy foods? Many parents struggle with this seemingly impossible task. However, healthy eating habits do not have to be a daily struggle for you and your children. The secret to getting your children to eat healthy is simple: involve them!

 

Before I outline methods of how to involve your children in healthy eating habits, you must first consider that healthy eating habits are essential for your children’s normal growth and development. Not to mention, eating habits that your children learn early in life are likely to be the same eating habits they have as adults. If you are teaching your children to overeat, eat unhealthy foods, consume sugary drinks, or maintain a restrictive diet, you are setting them up for unhealthy eating habits as adults.

These unhealthy eating habits can lead to obesity and other health issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and malnutrition. Thus, it is extremely important to teach your children healthy eating habits so they maintain good health now and later in life. To do this, involve your children in their eating habits using these three simple strategies:

 

  1. Involve Your Children in Meal Planning - Planning meals with your children is the perfect time to teach them the kinds of foods that need to be on their plates. Using the MyPlate, for example, is a great teaching tool. Provide your children with a list of healthy foods and have them pick foods for each category on the plate.
  2. Involve Your Children in Grocery Shopping - Do your children hate grocery shopping? Many children do, but if you involve your children in the process, then you can make it enjoyable for them. For example, make it a scavenger hunt by telling them to find zucchinis or salmon. In addition, you can give them control by letting them pick foods. For example, you can tell them, “You can pick any cereal you want as long as it is less than x amount of sugars.” This strategy also helps teach your children about food labels and what to look for on them.
  3. Involve Your Children in Meal Preparation - Allow your children to help in the kitchen while meals are prepared. Let them mix something or find the ingredients. Are your children picky eaters? Make something that allows everyone to make it their own. For example, have a salad night and let your children pick their base, such as spinach or lettuce, and their toppings. Set out a variety of healthy toppings for them to choose from such as fruit, avocados, chicken, and nuts.

 

Teaching your children healthy eating habits is easy. All you have to do is get them involved using one, two, or all of the strategies mentioned above. As a result, your children will grow to maintain healthy eating habits and will lower their risk of diet-related health issues.

 


 

References

Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child. July 2016. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/children/kids-healthy-eating-habits#1

Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy Food. 2014. PBS. http://www.pbs.org/parents/food-and-fitness/eat-smart/encourage-kids-to-eat-healthy-food/

Healthy Eating. 2014. Kids Health. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/habits.html

MyPlate. 2017. Choose MyPlate. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/


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