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Healthy Eating For Kids Made Easy.
Convincing your kids to eat healthy, does not have to be challenging.
All you need to do is to educate them about proper and healthy nutrition, show them that there are better and healthier alternatives to the unhealthy foods they love, and yes, even explain to them what kind of effects does soft drinks, candies, snacks, and processed and junk foods have on our bodies.
It's important to start this process at an early age. But even if you didn't implemented healthy eating habits to your kids when they were young, its never too late.
I could go on and say you can go army officer on them and just "command" them not to eat any unhealthy foods, and that you shouldn't allow any snacks and soft drinks in the house, but this isn't how you should approach the subject.
Your kid should want to eat healthy by himself, he needs to understand why it's important, otherwise, the second you'll turn your back, he'll get high on sugar and salts when he's over at his friends house.
How To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy
Look, the first thing you'll need to do is to make sure you have lots of tasty healthy foods for them to eat at home.
Make sure they'll have a wide range of healthy foods to choose from.
Don't just don't buy processed foods, frozen foods, soft drinks or huge salted packed snacks, but replace these with the healthy alternatives.
From time to time you can allow your kids to eat snacks, or to drink sugary drinks,
since you don't want your kids to develop a hard craving for the "forbidden" foods.
Family meals are a vital part of healthy eating for kids.
They are as much of a ritual for the kids as it is for us parents.
Family meal is a good time to not only catch up on how every one's day went, but
also to introduce your kids to healthy new foods.
Furthermore it's also a good time for moms and dads to be good role models and show their kids they practice what they preach .
Try to have your dinners at around the same time every day, so your kids will not snack too late in the afternoon.
And of course Breakfast is also a good time for a family meal.
Well enough chatting, here 9 actionable ways you can use to implement healthy eating habits to your kids.
Healthy Eating For Kids #1: Eat Together As a Family
Family meals have more to offer than just helping your kids develop healthy eating
Family meals gives your family the chance to connect and bond with each other.
The dinner table is a great place to talk about your day, share your thoughts and
even learn something new about each other.
The cool part is, that the bonding start with the preparation of the meal!
You could turn the preparation of the meal to a ritual the whole family does every day.
When eating together, your kids get the chance to see you eat the healthy food you encourage them to eat.
Also try to keep it positive, don't let them feel as if you are forcing this new food on them.
Serve them a small portion or give them a bite from your plate. And always
remember, no arguing or lecturing while preparing for dinner or at the dinner table!
Healthy Eating For Kids #2: Be Your Kids Role Model
It's not enough to fill your fridge with healthy snacks or food.
Your kids must see first hand that you, as their parents are practicing what you
Therefore, if you think that you can have junk food in front of your kids, and have your kids eat veggies. You've got another thing coming. Prove to your kids that you go by your own words, and by the habits you want to pass on to them.
Eat your healthy snacks and meals in front of your kids and WITH your kids.
I mean it's OK to eat pizza or hamburger from time to time, but don't make it a habit,
or a regular food choice for yourself and for your kids.
Those foods should be something rare for you if you want your kids to develop
healthy eating habits.
Your kids are still likely in the stage of "I see, I do". So be your kids role model!
Healthy Eating For Kids #3: Go Grocery Shopping With Your Kids
You could learn a lot about your kids food preferences when you're out shopping
for groceries together.
Plus you'll get the chance in educating them about good food vs. bad food
right there at the frozen foods aisle.
You could let them in on some of the cool advantages healthy foods have against
the health problems bad food causes.
Believe me, after couple of visits with you to the super market, your kid will go for
the health food, and will be mad with you if you happen to add some "bad snacks"
to your cart.
You definitely could turn this "hangout" at the super market to your advantage.
I agree though, going grocery shopping or shopping in general with our kids, can
be difficult sometimes. But, the key here is to not give up. Your kids are testing you.
You're the parent, you're the one in charge, and you're the one who will have the last word.
Healthy Eating For Kids #4: Go For Healthy Food When Eating Out.
If you're a kid then you know that when eating out, it's hard not to give in to temptation, especially if all you eat at home are healthy foods.
So as I said earlier, it might be OK to occasionally eat pizza, or hamburgers.
And when I say occasionally, I mean save these types of meals to special occasions or only when on vacations.
Just don't make a habit out of it, you shouldn't eat junk food cause you're out.
Healthy Eating For Kids #5: Encourage Them To Try New Healthy Foods
I already said that you should act as a role model for your children.
There's a lot more chance your kids will actually try the foods you're offering them, if they'll see you eat it yourself.
But it might take a some time until your kids will be convinced to try what you're offering them.
So make sure your consistent and keep encouraging them to try new things.
But don't be too pushy, and don't come out as if you're forcing them to try the foods you eat.
You could offer them new food along with a familiar food they know and love, and
you could also try to offer them a small portions instead of large meals.
But, remember it's up to your kids to decide if they want to try the new food or not.
Healthy Eating For Kids #6: Make It Look Like Veggies & Fruits Are The Real Treats.
This one is a bit tricky. But I have a true story to explain this in the best way.
I was at my friend's house, just visiting after a long time we didn't saw each other.
As we were sitting out on her porch, drinking green tea, eating her home-made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, chit-chatting and laughing about the good
ol'-days, and how "old" we got, when her 8 year old daughter came home from her friends house across the street.
My friend told her daughter that its time to take a shower, and to get ready for dinner, and her daughter just lost it, like most kids will do when they want to continue playing but their parents have different plans for them.
What happened next blew my mind.
My friend, in the most nonchalant way just sat there, slowly sipped her tea and told
to her daughter:
"If you don't march this instant to the shower, you can forget about broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper AND avocado tonight at dinner"
After hearing this, her daughter, although upset and unhappy, looked back at her
mother and said "FINE!"
And she went upstairs to take a shower.
It took me a couple of seconds to pick up my jaw from the floor.
And after I did, I asked her "What the heck just happened here? You're threatening
your daughter that she will NOT get to eat broccoli tonight and that's scares her?"
My friends replied: "Yeah, I know, its strange"
"Why? How?" I demanded to know.
"Well, when she was little I made it look like veggies and fruits are snacks just like chips and Doritos. So when she wanted a treat or something to snack on, I used to give her some chips and carrots. I made sure that there wasn't any difference between the two."
Some times I would "forget" to buy snacks, so the only things she could snack on
at home, were fruits and vegetables.
When she got older I started explaining to her that chips and all those sorts of
snacks are actually unhealthy and bad for her, and if she will snack only on veggies
and fruits she will be stronger, healthier and happier.
It took some time but eventually not only she stopped eating all the salty and sugary snacks and kept with the veggies and fruits, shes also explaining to other kids that those sorts of snack are bad for them."
If my friend can make this happen, then so can you.
But keep in mind that this little "trick" probably will work best with kids under a certain age. You know your kids best, so it's up to you to decide if this method can
work on your kids.
Healthy Eating For Kids #7: Encourage Your Kids To Be Physically Active
Exercising and healthy nutrition goes hand in hand, so why not make your kids want
to exercise? I don't mean you should sign up your kid to the gym.
I'm taking about going out for a brisk walk, or slow jogging, or going out on a bicycle ride, or going for a swim... You get the point.
This Exercise sessions could be yet another activity you do together. So not only your kids eat healthy foods and exercising, but you also get another way to spend time together!
And I believe that this alone is a great reason to promote healthy lifestyle choices for your kids.
As for the exercise goes, again, don't make it look like it's a "chore they have to do or else......"
Make a fun time out of it, i'm sure your kids won't mind going with you for a walk or
And make sure you let your kid choose the activity that suits him.
Don't force him/her to do something they don't enjoy doing.
Healthy Eating For Kids #8: No Eating In Front Of The TV!
You need to understand that if you want to help your kids develop healthy eating
habits, you need to help them develop general healthy habits.
It's a healthy lifestyle ecosystem.
Eating in front of the TV is not part of the system!
The last thing you want is for your kids to grow this habit of lunging in your living
room, hypnotized in front of the TV, and not noticing what they're eating, and how
This may lead to overeating. When it's time to eat, you eat!
You focus on eating and nothing else. That is it!
Healthy Eating For Kids #9: Encourage Your Kids To Drink Enough Water
I assume you got rid of all the sweetened beverages in your home.
If you haven't already, please do. Most chances are, that if your kid will have to choose between coke or water, he will go with coke.
So don't give him that option.
And you must educate your kids on how important it is to drink sufficient water on a daily basis.
You should eat together with your kids on a daily basis.
If you can eat breakfast and dinner together, not only you will bond, but your kids will get the chance to see that you practice what you preach.
Which leads us to the next point. Which is, be your kids role model. Your kids will most likely pick up a thing or two just by observing and watching you, so make sure the things they see and hear are the things you want to pass on to them.
Go grocery shopping together. It might be difficult if you have a real stubborn one, but, like i said, don't give up. Be consistent and they will follow.
Even when eating out go for the healthier choice.
Or, when eating pizza or hamburger go for the small size, and maybe even let your kids share their coke and fries.
Always encourage them to try new foods. Again, you need to be the role model, so you could be the first one to try that new food. And don't only talk about how healthy that new food is, tell them how tasty it is. Kids want tasty stuff, so if you could stimulate their taste sense by "promoting" that new food, your half way done.
Make it look like veggies and fruits are real treats.
Its basic psychology. Or at least I think it is. If you refer to veggies and fruits as treats or snacks, your kids will pick up on this. Its best to start practicing this at young age. If my friend can do it, anyone can.
Push them towards physical activity. Again, not something fancy. Walking, running, swimming, cycling are great options, and those are activities you can do together!
NO EATING IN FRONT OF THE TV!
This one is pretty much self explanatory.
When eating focus on eating.
Encourage your kids do drink enough water.
I cant emphasis this enough. Educate your kids on how important it is to drink water.
Healthy eating habits are best developed when young, but it's never too late to start. There are more than enough reasons to why your kids need to start eating healthy.
Laying the foundation to a healthy eating habits, and a general healthy lifestyle, can be something that will stick with your kids as they will become a full grown adult.
Hopefully this short article helped you find ways to make your kids develop healthy eating habits. I hope that by reading this article you too can make healthy eating for kids an easy job.
Let me know what you think, and if you are going to use any of the tips above.