How to teach your children to eat healthily
Tips on how to get your kids to eat the right kinds of food.
We naturally want our kids to eat well and be healthy, after all, eating healthily has so many benefits for both parent and child. For parents, it’s that peace of mind knowing their children are getting all the nutrients and vitamins their body needs. For children, it’s not a feeling, but more the benefits they receive for their bodies without them even being aware of it. Healthy eating helps make their body and immune and their system work and function better.
That being said, we have spoken previously about getting fussy eaters to eat. For some, it’s just getting their children to eat, but for others it is about getting their children to eat the RIGHT foods. To get your children to eat correctly, it’s about teaching them the benefits of eating healthy food and being able to identify what a HEALTHY choice vs. a LESS HEALTHY choice is.
Thanks to researching and dealing with this first hand, here are 5 TOP ways to educate your children to make healthier choices:
- It starts with YOU: Children learn and imitate their parents. If you start eating correctly and looking after your body, they will follow suit. It won’t be immediate, but everything we do as parents is being monitored by those little eyes. So, why should they eat healthily if you don’t?
- Grow your own food: This may sound like extra work, but it’s worth it! My boys get so excited picking the vegetables we grow. According to research I’ve done, when kids are involved in the process of planting, watering and preparing food they’ve grown, they feel more connected to food.
- Invest in educational children’s books: There are children’s books that help educate children on healthy food choices. Books are a fantastic way to subconsciously educate your children. These books open their inquisitive minds to a healthier outlook or view on eating. A favourite in our household that I refer to when my boys don’t want to eat something is “Green Eggs and Ham” – this book is one of those books that is fun to read, it rhymes and has that hidden message of “If you haven’t tried it, how can you know if you don’t like it?” View the narrated book on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B32u4qrIVZQ
- Reward Systems: Implement a reward system for when they make the healthy choice in food. In our home, we have a drawn ladder with steps and a tiger that moves up courtesy of Prestik! When our boys make better choices in something, they move one step up the ladder. When they reach the top, there’s a reward that is NOT a sweet, but perhaps a toy, pocket money or something important / special to them.
- Get the School Involved: Many kids spend a large portion of their day at school. Speak to the school and encourage them to assist with creating healthy eating habits e.g. No unhealthy lunchbox items, regular talks on food choices, outings to apple farms, etc.