Children are exposed to junk food everyday, whether it is at school or in the media. It is important that you teach your children about eating the right kinds of foods early in their age. At a young age, children are still quite impressionable, and you should take this opportunity to mold their thinking into eating more healthy food. Here are some tips on how you can help your children learn healthy eating habits.
There are many foods that are both nutritious and kid-friendly. For instance, barbecue chicken is a popular favorite. You can make chicken kabobs with a delicious peanut sauce, if there is no peanut allergy. A veggie platter with a couple of low-fat dips is also healthy and delicious. A grilled cheese sandwich is great if made with whole-grain bread and a high-quality, real cheese. Steer your children away from hot dogs because it is made from processed meat parts and very high in sodium.
When you are trying to introduce more healthy options to your children, do not take away their old favorites. Serve those, but in much smaller portions. Offer larger portions of the healthy options. If you do this, your children will be less likely to reject the healthy foods because they will not feel like they have to give up what they want.
It is important that you expose your children to a big variety of healthy foods. They need to see that there is more to food than just their few favorite things. Foods from different cultures are interesting and can be packed with delicious flavors. If you give your children to experience a variety of foods, you may be surprised at what they like.
Keeping healthy snacks at-the-ready is important to curb those cravings. Keep a good supply of nuts around, if there are no allergies. Always keep fresh fruit in your refrigerator if your children want something sweet. Unsalted pretzel sticks are good to munch on. If your children want ice cream, offer them frozen yogurt instead.
Children like to offer their opinions, and it is important that they be heard. If they are interested, give them a chance to plan the family meals. Provide a list of choices of entrees, vegetables and other sides, then let them pick from the list to create the meal plan. Giving them a voice in what they will eat for dinner will lessen the likelihood of them rejecting the foods because these are the ones that they have chosen.
Mealtime should be fun. It should not be a time when you are frustrated in trying to make your children eat what you have prepared. If your children see that you are stressed over dinner, they will become stressed as well, and will have negative feelings associated with the family meal. Do not let this happen. The more important thing is to teach them to look at healthy foods positively. If they ate little of it during one meal, do not fret. Just continue to serve it next week and the week after, and make it fun. Eventually, they will come around.
Healthy eating is a way of life that should begin in a child’s life as early as possible. Model good eating habits, and your children will remember this for the rest of their lives.