While most kids will choose a bowl of ice-cream over a bowl of veggies, you can encourage your child to be more mindful of their food choices with a few easy tips.
Every parent probably knows how difficult it can be to get their kids to eat healthy meals. The good news is that not all hope is lost. If children can learn how to walk and feed themselves, they can undoubtedly adopt healthy eating habits. And habits they form as children could last well into their adulthood.
Here’s how to make your children fall in love with healthy food.
Let them shop and cook with you
Shopping and cooking with your child will give an idea of what kind of food they like. Those two occasions are the perfect times to educate your children about nutrition. Your children may also be more eager to eat a healthy meal if they helped to prepare it. Next time you go through a list of healthy dinner ideas to try out, ask for your kids’ input.
Eat together as a family
Gathering around a table to share a meal with relatives should be a relaxing experience. Encourage everyone to put away their smartphones and step away from the TV screen when it’s time to eat. If the dinner table is filled with pleasant conversations and good company, chances are your children will be more than eager to finish what’s on their plate.
Never use food as a punishment or reward
While the act may seem harmless, it gives children the impression that sweets or junk food are more valuable than greens. The same goes for letting your child sleep on an empty stomach when they refuse to eat all their vegetables. Reinforce good behaviour through other means, such as an outing or a new toy.
Set a good example
You are your child’s biggest influence. As their primary role model, you should be assessing your behaviour as often as you evaluate theirs. How healthy are your healthy habits? No amount of preaching will convince your children to adopt habits you don’t practise. If you want your children to steer of unhealthy food, you’re going to have to do the same.
The task of getting your children to eat healthily is not as daunting as it seems, especially when you have inspiration for easy dinner recipes. Encouraging healthier eating choices is a process that might not happen overnight – just take it step by step, one cauliflower floret at a time.