With childhood obesity on the rise and so many fun reasons to sit in front of the computer or television instead of running around outside, instilling healthy eating habits at a young age is more important than ever. To help you get your children eating healthy and choosing the right snacks, here are some great tips for every family.
1. Make a Schedule & Plan Dinners:
Make a schedule for regular meal and snack times and keep to it as much as possible. It will be easier to ensure you always have healthy options at hand if you know when and what you will be eating ahead of time. Plan out meals a few days at a time in order to take the stress of last minute meal preparation out of your daily life.
Don’t prepare a separate meal for your children, the extra energy and effort is not worth it and it will not provide the same encouragement by example as eating the same foods. Make one meal that everyone can – and is expected to – eat. Try not to comment too much on how much your kids are eating of certain foods: if you try to force it they may resist. Instead, make a show of how good it is for them or how much you enjoy it.
2. Introduce New Foods Slowly
Many children are new-food-phobic and it can be extremely hard to get them to even try something new no matter how much you assure them they will like it. Instead of trying to force new foods, include them as part of meals and be sure to eat them yourself in front of your children.
3. Encourage your Children to Help you Cook
When children are involved in the creation process they will be more interested in eating the food they have helped make. Not every child will be interested in helping out in the kitchen but those that are will likely show more interest in new foods.
4. Experiment with Dip
Low-fat, healthy dips are a great way to add a bit of flavor to get your children to eat vegetables. Try out different kinds of hummus, salad dressings, and salsas to find one that your children really enjoy. If all else fails, a small sprinkle of sugar can make any healthy food much more appealing and is a small concession in the battle to get your child eating their fruits or vegetables.
5. Allow Occasional Treats
A complete ban on chips or chocolate will only make them that much more appealing and your child will likely find somewhere outside the house to get their hands on them. In order to properly control and address junk food cravings, allow occasional treats of their favorite items and treat them as special circumstances.
Therefore for best child care and healthy food habits, along similar lines, be sure to cut back on the junk food you bring into the house. After all, if you are buying it you cannot really fault them for wanting to eat it. Instead, keep the house stocked with healthy snack options only and your children will eventually be forced to resort to healthier options.
Gina Brewton has been in the home improvement industry for past 7 years. She is presently working in a reputed residential cleaning company in Toronto. She is also a part time interior designer. She loves cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on twitter@ginabrewton.