Start shaping the eating habits of your kids. By offering and setting examples of healthy eating, your kids will form healthy eating habits at home and out of the house.
Our children’s health is in our own hands, and there are ways to get and stay involved in their eating choices, whether they are at home or out with their friends. Here are some ways you can control what they eat at home and help to shape their food choices when they’re not home.
Healthy Tips at Home
1. Limit sugar intake: The issues arise when sugar starts replacing nutrients. Snacks like cookies and ice cream should be limited to a single serving per day. You can also make your snacks a bit healthier by serving whole grain, real blueberry muffins or utilizing whole grain flour in your cookies. When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, just cut back on the chips (the kids won’t even notice).
2. Make friends with the freezer: Cold treats are a favorite of every kid. Take some grapes and berries and freeze them. They are delicious on their own or mixed with yogurt and milk. Miniature ice pops are also a family favorite. Pour some fruit and yogurt into an ice cube tray, then add a stick and let them freeze. You can make these treats vegan with soy, almond, or coconut milks and yogurts,
3. It’s all about looks: Kids decide whether they like something based on how it looks. Healthy and unhealthy mean nothing to them; it is either yummy or yucky. Consider making some avocado ice cream. Get out your blender and mix avocado, cocoa powder, and banana with a little bit of your favorite sweetener. It may not sound yummy, but it looks just like ice cream and tastes delicious! Even something healthy like Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt can become appealing to kids if you add some sprinkles on top.
4. Involve the kids: When you’re at the store, allow your kids to pick out something they like, and encourage them to help you out in the kitchen. Make an experiment out of planting a vegetable and herb garden with your kids. Kids love those types of things and they will enjoy eating something that they helped create.
5. Change your own behaviors: You can’t go around drinking can after can of soda all day and then tell your kids it’s bad for them. If you want your kids to drink more water, then do it yourself as well. Children love to imitate their parents, so give them some good things to emulate. You’d be surprised at how quickly your kids will dig into baby carrots or fruit if they see you eating it.
Once they leave the house, they are on their own and you can’t control much of what they choose to eat. If you forbid them from having anything tasty, you will come home one day and open the garage door to see your child making snow angels in a pile of Twinkies. The best way to get your kids on a healthy eating path is to show them how to achieve balance in their eating habits.
How do you get your kids to eat healthier? Join in the discussion in the comments below!