Get Your Child to Eat Healthy with These Tips

By: Francesca | healthy eating, health
In order to successfully develop healthy eating habit in your kids, it’s best to start early and be consistent. Now, it isn’t always easy to show kids how to live a healthy lifestyle, especially with unhealthy foods (like fast food and junk food) being both tempting and cheap. In spite of this though, parents are encouraged to constantly promote healthy eating. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t allow your kids to eat any type of junk food ever. You should still let them eat what they want, as long as it’s within reason.

The following tips below will help you encourage your children to eat better, and in turn have a healthier lifestyle. Check them out and see how you can apply them in your household.

Set a good example â€" This tip may sound cliché, but the fact is a lot of parents have a tendency to simply TELL their kids to eat healthy without actually SHOWING them. Your kids look up to you, and they’ll literally and figuratively follow in your footsteps, so be sure to lead them towards the right path. When you’re making your kids eat something, show them that you’re eating the same thing. Avoid cooking separate meals for your kids and the adults in your home. Demonstrating that eating fruits and vegetables is done by everyone will make it easier for kids to develop the habit.

Make breakfast count â€" While it’s tempting to just give kids cereal for breakfast every single day, doing so will only make them sugar-happy and will fill their diet with unneeded calories. While you can still serve cereal from time to time, opt to give them whole grain products such as oatmeal and wheat toast (with peanut butter or jam) instead. These types of foods are rich in fiber and (mostly) low in sugar. If you must give them cereal, choose the ones that are minimally processed and have healthier ingredients.

Let them help you cook â€" Cooking can be healthier (if you choose ingredients wisely) and cheaper than eating out. Let your kids see these benefits by actually letting them keep you company in the kitchen. Allow them to help you stir ingredients and show them how meals are cooked. You’ll not only provide an interesting experience for your kids, but you might actually turn them into good cooksâ€"which will certainly come in handy when they grow up.

Try out different dips â€" If your kids are picky eaters and refuse to try vegetables, experiment with various types of dips to help them ease into the habit. Be aware though, that not all dips are healthy, so choose wisely.

Treat them every once in a while â€" Introducing a healthy eating lifestyle to kids doesn’t mean that you should never allow them to eat sweets or fast food. A “cheat day” where kids are allowed to eat candies or anything that they want is actually recommended. The key is not to deprive them, but to teach them that they can eat not-so-healthy foods from time to time, as long as they eat more of the good stuff.

Image credit: garussell11 on Flickr

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