We can’t deny the fact that teaching kids to adopt sound and healthy eating habits sometimes feels like an impossible task. They are constantly bombarded with advertising for fast foods and sugary treats on television. Schools also have lots of junk food such as chocolate milk bars and ice cream readily available.
But, the good news is that all isn’t lost since you can still manage to teach your young one about healthy foods and good eating habits. The secret is to start early and engage them in fun activities that will ensure they develop healthy eating habits.
Here are some of the good and healthy eating habits that you should teach your kids.
Healthy Food Is Everyday Food
It is good to make sure that your little one understands the fact that healthy food is everyday food as early as possible. One mistake that parents commit while teaching this habit is focusing on what the family doesn’t eat.
It is true that some families are grain-free, gluten-free, or vegan. Therefore, certain foods will never be seen on the family’s dining table. But, instead of focusing on what you don’t serve at home, focus on what you serve and let the child grow up knowing that whatever is cooked at home is healthy food.
If you serve lots of vegetables and fruits, let your little one understand that these foods are good and healthy instead of teaching them that a lot of red meat isn’t healthy.
Always Choose from What’s on the Table
It is also good to let your little ones choose from what is on the table, and it is okay if they select one or two things. It doesn’t matter whether you are enjoying a meal at home or eating out in an Italian restaurant.
Toddlers can sometimes become picky and stubborn and start demanding other things that aren’t part of your serving. If you give in to their demands, you will be teaching them bad habits. Always decide on what you will serve and stick to it.
If the kid doesn’t want to eat all or part of the meal, don’t order or make something different for them. All you have to do is encourage the child to take a few bites of the available food and if he/she doesn’t like it or is unwilling to eat, sit back and relax. Don’t harass the child.
Cooking Is Part of Good Eating Habits
One of the best ways to teach your kids about good and healthy eating habits is by involving them in your cooking. Let them understand that the most delicious and healthy food is always prepared at home.
Have your little one help select healthy recipes for family meals and allow them to stay with you in the kitchen while cooking. The younger kids can help with pouring and stirring while the older ones can be involved in measuring ingredients and getting the little things in order.
Some Foods are for Special Occasions
I’m sure that when you were growing up, you only had a chance to eat some foods on specific occasions. It is good to teach your kids the same thing. For instance, you can let them know that candies can only be enjoyed without limits during Easter and Halloween.
In doing so, you don’t just reduce the amount of unhealthy food that kids consume but also maintain the “specialness” and “sweetness” of certain types of foods.