Encouraging kids to eat healthy foods is not always easy. Kids tend to prefer foods laden with sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients and turn their nose up to greens. Of course, this is not just kids; this is adults as well. What can you do to get your children interested in some of the green stuff? Or healthy food options? Here are some great ways to encourage healthy eating in kids.
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Encourage Healthy Eating in Kids
Consider the following:
This is probably the most important thing you can do if you want your child to eat healthily. They have to have the option presented to them. A child is not going to typically ask for healthy foods, so your job as a parent is to provide it for them.
One of the best parts about healthy foods is that tons and tons of healthy food options are out there. If your child does not like broccoli, that is okay because they may like another green vegetable, like brussel sprouts. But you won’t know unless you try.
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Get The Kids Involved
Let your child be part of healthy eating, and they will be more excited about it. For example, take them to a local farmer’s market and let them pick out their fruit and veggies for the week. Warn them ahead of time that they can get whatever they want, but they have to eat it.
Allow them to help you prepare the food; that way, they will have some responsibility for it. A child is less likely to complain about food tasting gross if they are the ones that made the food. Help your child get excited about healthy eating by having them take some of the responsibility.
Start a garden with your kids. Letting them pick out their own foods to grow is a great way to encourage healthy eating in kids. Maybe let them each pick out one or two plants to grow for eating in later in the summer and fall.
Limit The Unhealthy Options
Just like exposing kids to all the healthy options is necessary for kids to eat healthy, limiting the amount of unhealthy they are exposed to. It will be hard to get your child to choose carrot sticks for a snack if the pantry is full of candy bars, chips, cookies, and other unhealthy but tasty options. You have to remember that children struggle with willpower just like adults.
Lead By Example
If you want your children to eat healthy foods, you have to. If you are drinking soda, they will want one. If you eat bad, they will too. Naturally, you are their role model, so model healthy eating, and it will be easier to get your child on board. Prepare healthy meals for your whole family, with the expectation that they will be eaten. Then your chance of this happening is higher.
Kids are naturally curious and want to understand the world around them, including their bodies. Educating children about the adverse effects of unhealthy foods, like sugar, can help them understand that it is not a punishment to have limited sugar in their diet but a health precaution. Help them learn about healthy eating so that they understand it and can get excited about it.