4 Tips for Raising Healthy Eaters

easy meals my kids love

 Type II Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Childhood Obesity. Let’s face it; we live in a different world than when we were kids. These are some of the top issues/concerns we have with regards to children! ALL of which are completely, totally, absolutely avoidable through healthy lifestyle choices. So what’s a parent to do?

  1. Be a Great Role Model. Lead by example (not by words). Kids seem to not be able to hear us well but they sure do watch us like hawks. If you are eating well and making healthy food choices; your kids will too. If you are open to trying new foods; so will your kids. If you exercise regularly and are active; your kids will learn to love being active too. They will mirror YOUR attitudes and habits about food, activity, sleep and stress because that is what they learn and until they are older, that will be all they know.
  2. Offer Variety and Choices. Not everyone enjoys every food and so it is important to expose your kids to a wide variety of options from a young age, and promote trying new things. If you only eat apples and bananas but your kids don’t, you need to broaden YOUR palate in order to help them find foods they like. This is directly related to giving your kids choices and allowing them to have a say in the foods they want. Forcing food choices in any situation can have a negative effect all around.Nutrition, vegetables, serving sizes, dirty dozen, clean 15, healthy eating, My Plate, nutrition info, tips from town
  3. Food Democracy vs Food Dictatorship. Get your kids involved in the entire food process from meal planning to food shopping and food prep. This gives your kids a sense of ownership and can promote autonomy when it comes to eating habits early on in their lives and will stick with them throughout. This does not have to be a food free-for-all. Give choices. Offer a few different meals to choose from and then get them involved in the rest. Get them to do age-appropriate food prepping and you’re guaranteed to have them eating because it is something they have created.shutterstock_160903820
  4. Eat Meals Together. When meals become a part of the family social time and not just about eating your brussel sprouts, kids enjoy the entire process. Pleasant and interesting conversation can make “healthy” food more palatable and also encourages mindful, slowed-down eating – both of which are excellent habits for weight management.shutterstock_184848221

To recap: As a parent, promote healthy eating habits through variety, involvement and sit-down meals even if it’s hard for you. Positive food experiences will get you much further than forcing issues if you have a picky eater.  Most of all, lead by example. Kids learn what they live.

 


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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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