As a parent, it is important to instill healthy eating habits into your kids when they are young. This can always be an interesting proposition because, given the choice, children will live entirely on sugar, fries, and chips. At the same time, it is possible to teach your children to eat healthily, and it works best if you start when they are young.
Give Them Choices
Allowing children to choose their food can help them enjoy their food more and feel more empowered in their food choices. While you shouldn’t give them the choice between healthy food and unhealthy food, you can give them different healthy options to choose between.
When you are meal planning, include them in the choices of things like what is for lunch and dinner. When children get to participate in planning food, they will be more excited about the food and enjoy the experience more. Giving them the choice in their food also helps them be less impulsive about what they eat. Just make sure you don’t give them a choice you aren’t okay with them making.
Feed Them Healthy Snacks
While an occasional junk food snack is okay, the majority of the snacks you give your kids should be healthy. The more healthy food they eat, the easier it will be to find their favorites. And eating healthy snacks has more benefits than just promoting healthy food habits.
Carrots and celery are great for promoting healthy teeth in children. These snacks will also be more nutritious and filling for your kids, which means the snacks will be more filling for them. As a general rule, healthy snacks are also cheaper than junk food.
Teach Them to Cook
Beyond involving them in choosing what they are eating, it is important to teach your kids how to cook. Learning how to cook food from a young age can help promote healthy choices and give you the perfect opportunity to teach them about nutrition, portion sizes, and how to make even better choices. Kids love learning new things and spending time with their parents, so this is a great way to bond with them as well. Cooking is also a good way to reinforce other lessons they are learning, such as math and reading.
While parenting may seem like a never-ending list of things that you need to figure out how to teach your children, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Children-friendly recipes are a great way to start teaching them to manage their food in a way that is not judgmental and won’t lead to toxic diet culture.
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