Good nutrition and healthy eating are extremely important parts of our daily lives. These give your children the energy they need to grow and learn. Forming healthy habits also helps your child establish a stable long-term relationship with their diet.
Unfortunately, less than 15% of American children get their recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. So how can you help your child get the nutrition that they need?
Find out great ways to help your children develop healthy eating habits with these easy tips.
Eat Together at the Table
Forming healthy habits is just as important as eating healthy food. This is why it’s a good idea to create a meal-time routine. In fact, your familial routines have a big impact on your child’s long-term eating behaviors.
So ideally, you should try to all eat around the table together. This might also involve setting the table together.
This helps children prepare mentally for a meal and keeps them focused on their food. The odd couch dinner won’t be the end of the world but try to save it for special occasions.
Encourage Kids to Choose Their Food
Giving kids choices over what they eat encourages a healthy interest and makes it more exciting. Obviously, you need to do this in a controlled way, or they might not make healthy choices.
Try putting out a big plate of vegetables for them to pick from, for example. That way they can make an informed choice that they have control over, and you can make sure that the choices that they make are healthy ones.
Children can go through phases with food. This might have to do with flavor, or it may have something to do with the texture of certain food. Either way, try not to panic if your child’s tastes seem to keep changing.
Where possible, try to keep introducing varied and healthy options into their diet. It is important that they always have this option, even if they refuse it sometimes. Over time most children will come to accept healthy foods as an important part of each meal.
Don’t Forbid Treats Altogether
Every parent has a different strategy when it comes to letting their child have treats. This is, after all, an important part of being a child.
There is no point in trying to forbid treats altogether. Your child won’t appreciate it, and it will be almost impossible to maintain.
Instead, think about how and when you give out treats. You might also want to look into buying healthier treats, which contain less sugar or artificial flavors.
When giving your treats out, a top tip is not to let your child see the packet or branding. That way they won’t be able to spot it when you’re out shopping and demand it and only it.
Create Healthy Eating Habits to Last a Lifetime
Creating healthy eating habits is a long-term project with your kids so there’s no quick fix. However, it’s worth putting the time in. Establishing healthy and fun routines will help your kids understand how to look after their bodies.
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