The challenge most parents face is trying to get their children eating healthy food. The subject of healthy eating is always a battle or a struggle between parent and child, and many times both parties become upset and frustrated.
The easiest way to get children eating healthy food is to start them young. Children form their eating habits before the age of ten. As a parent, focus on these formative years and shape their eating habits early. Always serve healthy food in your home, and pack healthy lunches and snacks for your children. When you are in someone else’s home, be polite by eating their food, but teach your children how to spot healthier options, and encourage them to go for those options. While they’re still very young, give them no choice and they will probably not mind at all.
Another easy way to get children eating healthy food is to get them interested in healthy foods. Do this by having a range of healthy choices in your house. If you have many different kinds of food, but all healthy, then you won’t have to worry about your children making the wrong choice.
Also, introduce new foods like tofu, different fruit, and vegetables often. Consistently having a new fruit or vegetable once a week should be enough to spark your children’s interest in the food groups. Play games with your children, and have fun with colorful fruit. You can make fruit men with your children, getting them interested in many fruits!
It is important to remember setting an example for your children. You may impose all these rules, but if you don’t follow them yourself then your children will see that they won’t have to follow them someday either. During their younger years, children want to be just like their parents. If you show them that you eat healthily and you enjoy it, they will want to do the same. Even when your children aren’t around, choose the healthier option. It’ll be good practice for you and good for your health too!
When taking on the healthy eating endeavor, remember to be consistent. ALWAYS eat healthily and choose the healthy option. When you go out to restaurants, choose the healthy option for your kids, and show them how to choose the healthy options. Being consistent is the key to having children that eat healthy all the time. If you eat healthy food at home but let your children eat unhealthy choices when they’re away from home, they’re likely to develop a taste for food they shouldn’t be eating. So be consistent and it will pay off!
Finally, talk to your children. Get them to understand why you choose and eat the foods you have at home and in restaurants. If your children are past the age of ten, call a family meeting and talk about how you can all eat healthier. If you hadn’t started healthy eating habits early, make it a family endeavor and work as a team. Learn how to minimize your fast food, junk food, and microwave-ready food slowly but surely. Even if you didn’t start them young, healthy eating is always within your and your children’s reach.