You always want what is best for your children. Whatever you do, you do it for the betterment of your kids. To say that they don’t give in easily to whatever you have to say is a bit of an understatement. The house is like a warpath where you are always your child’s enemy because you want them to do the ‘right thing’. One such glorious battle is the battle of making them eat healthy. Oh the tantrums! And the debates (more like shouting matches) just make you give up on the whole idea of healthy eating. But, don’t worry! The secret to getting your kids eat healthy has been decoded. Here are some healthy eating habits for kids that will get them on the track of a healthy life.
The more meals they eat with you, the more healthy food you can get them to eat. Having family meals will also help you bond with your kids. Once it becomes a routine for them, they will also start enjoying these meals. Keep these meals as fun as possible. These family meals are a chance for you to regulate what they eat. This is the time where you can get them to try new dishes. Make a fixed time-table for all the meals and follow it.
Although this is an opportunity for you to talk with them and share things with them, remember that this is eating time not teaching time. Don’t make these meals an opportunity for you to teach them anything, criticize them, talk about things they don’t like. If this keeps happening, they will start resenting these family meals and will eventually start skipping them. Keep the conversations amicable. Find some other time for serious talk.
Stock up on healthy food and snacks
If there is no junk food in the house, your kids won’t eat junk food. Fill your refrigerators with healthy snacking options. Ask your child if there is any snack in particular (from your choice of snacks) that they like and make sure that the snack is always available. Fruits are not the child’s first choice for a quick bite but if they are easily accessible, like on the table, they will go for it. Introduce them to new fruits and new healthy eating options.
Instead of cold drinks steer them towards fruit juices that are preferably homemade with no added preservatives. Find healthy alternatives for all the junk they like to eat.
Make it colorful
Colors are an important part of the whole eating experience. They make a dish look appealing and more appetizing. Sometimes kids prefer junk food because it is colorful or comes in colorful packets. And sometimes, they don’t like eating healthy home cooked food because it does not excite them. Explore various foods that have different colors that will make home cooked food look interesting and they just want to dig in.
It is difficult to make food interesting all the time, but try to have something or other that will appeal to their taste buds.
Involvement is necessary
Kids like it when they are asked what they think. They get more attached to something that they have contributed for, even if it is healthy food. List out different dishes that they will also like eating and are healthy together. Make them help out in the cooking process by giving them age appropriate chores. This will make them understand how much effort has gone into making a single meal and they will start appreciating home cooked food.
As an added bonus they learn how to cook which will make them more independent and responsible as adults.
Healthy eating begins with you
As an adult that your children always look up to, it will be very hypocritical of you if you yourself don’t eat healthy. Kids do what they see their parents do. If they notice that you yourself grab fast food when going to work or at work they will simply not listen. If you yourself have healthy eating habits, then you can make your kids eat healthy.
Before starting the healthy eating regimen at your house, put yourself through a trial. If you manage to get used to it then make your kids do it. Don’t set over the top goals that will be impossible to achieve. Keep manageable goals and take one step at a time.
Stay hydrated stay healthy
When listing out healthy eating habits for your kids drinking water has to be the top priority. Drinking water regularly and in adequate amounts will do wonders for your body (not to mention the skin care benefits!). If your children don’t drink enough water they are compromising the functionality of their body. Not drinking enough water will make your body revolt against you, and it won’t end well.
It is important to know here that by water, it does not mean juice, cold drinks or any other fluid. Homemade fruit juice is healthy but should not replace water. To make things interesting and to improve the overall health of your family, you can keep goals for the entire family. Write it on a paper and stick it on the refrigerator or any surface that is easily seen and constantly maintain track.
The amount of water required for an adult and child is not the same. So, before starting the ‘stay hydrated campaign’ make sure you all are drinking the right amount of water.
Homemade fast food
No matter how much you jazz up your home cooked healthy food, your child’s heart will flutter towards junk now and then. So, instead of banning them from eating junk food and making them resent you for the rest of your life, innovate. Home cooked versions of any junk food is going to be at least ten times healthier. Don’t make it a habit though, eating home cooked fast food is still not as healthy. You can make home cooked fast food once a week (preferably a day where you want to relax a little). Discuss with your kids what you would like to have on the homemade fast food day and keep your promise.
Also, it will not be totally wrong if your children have actual fast food once a month or so. They are kids after all, let them have one day where they can eat whatever they want so that they can stay on the regimen without feeling that they are missing out.
Healthy eating habits for your kids will help them lifelong to stay healthy and responsible so it is important that these habits are imbibed in them at a young age.