What we feed our children affects not only affects their physical growth but also their emotional and mental health. Eating healthy helps your child maintain their weight, have enough energy to carry out tasks and keep their minds in focus. Children aren’t born craving French fries, pizza, burgers and such. We expose them to such fast foods and they become a habit. In the same way, we can instill healthy eating habits into them. You do that by creating an environment for them to make healthy nutritional decisions. It isn’t as frustrating as most people make it seem.
Here are 5 ways to get your child to eat healthily;
Lead by example
You want your child to eat healthily? Why don’t you start by eating healthy yourself? If you are going to make your child drink carrot smoothies while you down a bottle of cold Coke, you are not helping much. You might end up with a rebellious child who feels that mealtimes are a punishment. Keep eat-outs on the minimum and stay away from the prepared foods section at the grocery store. They are more motivated when you practice what you preach to them.
A treat once in a while won’t hurt
A treat once in a while, when done in moderation, isn’t such a bad thing. Throwing a cookie in the snacks box when they go off to school, or a slice of pizza once in a while won’t do damage to your healthy living training. There are Diabetic Candy Recipes which you use to make low-sugar candies for your kids.
Work on a mealtime routine
Healthy eating isn’t all about what you eat but also about how you eat. Teach your children to take time on a meal. Enjoy it. Savor the flavor. Chew the food properly. Meals aren’t things they can gobble as they rush out to catch the school bus. Let them learn to sit through a meal. Giving them roles in preparing for mealtimes help- have them set the table, help in the kitchen, or anything that will make them feel involved.
Don’t be intimidated by targeted adverts
Unless you live in a cave without any access to the outside world, your quest for healthy eating will always be countered by fast food ads. That is a battle you can win. If you have time on your hands, you can record their favorite programs and edit out the commercials. Otherwise, you will have to sit them down and tell them why they don’t need some drink full of artificial sweeteners to be a cool kid. Or why they don’t need pizza to be happy. Once they are into your idea of healthy eating, you won’t need the sitdowns. You have won the battle and can let the TV scream their commercials on deaf ears.
Let food be just food
Do not use food as a reward or as punishment for your child. Apart from getting them to resent certain types of food, you may also end up being resented. Find other ways of rewarding them when they do something good other than food. This does not, however, rule out treats once in a while.