3 ways to create healthy eating habits for children
By Roy Kim, Feb 13 2015
Creating healthy eating habits for children can be challenging. Sometimes just getting kids to eat a full meal is difficult! And getting them to eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein is another story.
Healthy eating can help your child feel good, stay at or reach a healthy weight, and have lots of energy for school and play. As a parent, making dietary choices for your kids shouldn’t be a battle that only makes things worse for you, right? Here are some ways you can encourage healthy eating habits for children that nourish them through adulthood.Let Them Make Food Choices
Developing healthy eating habits relies on a regular schedule. Kids need to know what to expect in their day-to-day lives and the same is true when it comes to mealtime. Since children have very little control over most of the things in their lives, a power struggle often occurs over meals because hey… they can control that! Nurture their independent behavior early, allowing them to choose from a variety of healthy snacks themselves. Eliminate processed foods that often contain bright colors, artificial ingredients and loads of sugar and keep your cabinets stocked with natural healthy food snacks.
Nobody wants to eat foods they don’t like the taste of, especially children who are food-a-phobic by nature. Introduce foods like bitter kale and broccoli and even sweet vegetables like carrots and cucumber to kids by sneaking these items into their favorite meals or treats. For example, you can bake shredded zucchini into chocolate muffins or add a few leafy green kale leaves to smoothies that contains sweet kiwi or apple to disguise the taste. This is a great way to develop healthy eating habits for children as it provides them all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they need, while helping to cultivate a palette that isn’t opposed to the many different flavors of healthy foods.Bridge Nutritional Gaps
Proper nutrition is necessary for healthy growth and development throughout childhood. Offering children a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins allows you to ensure that your kids get the nutrients they need to maintain a balanced diet. It also provides them with the energy they need for all the physical activities their lives demand. Choose a multi- vitamin/mineral supplement in a form they like to take like a power, chewable or gummy and integrate this into mealtime everyday. Teaching healthy eating habits for children through the value of complete nutrition can help them build a healthy relationship with food based on nutrient value, not taste.
Recommended reading :How is sugar being sneaked into our diets?