Eating habits are very important for kids when it comes to them maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, maintaining eating habits for kids can sometimes be a struggle for parents.
Some of the easiest ways to keep your children’s eating habits healthy include portion control and having a limit on sugar and fat intake. Limiting sugar intake can be as easy as not having soft drinks available in your home and a few simple ways to limit fat intake include: low-fat or non-fat dairy products, whole-grain breads and cereals, lean meats, and healthy snacks that are fruit or veggie based.
Availability. Always having healthy foods available is a great start to healthy eating habits for your children. Avoid putting obvious restrictions on your children’s diet; doing that can make them avoid eating healthy foods and could potentially lead to more serious eating issues.
When your child does choose to eat healthy, praise them for it. What this does is make them feel as if they can make their own good choices and will make them want to eat healthier on their own. This also helps them to realize they can do things on their own, especially when it comes to making healthy eating choices.
Educate. Avoid nagging them about their poor food choices; you can suggest a healthier version of what they chose to eat instead. Educate them on what is healthy and what is not, however, never make them feel guilty for their poor food choices. There should be a good balance between them eating healthy and eating “like a kid”.
Have them tag along with you for grocery shopping trips. This will allow your child to pick out the healthy foods that they would want to eat rather than choosing what is available to them at home. This is another great opportunity to educate them. You can also plan a food schedule by setting a time to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks throughout the day.
Teamwork. Another creative idea is cooking with your child and taking pictures of the healthy foods, then even collecting the photos and starting a mini blog or scrap book with your children. They will be begging to make the next meal. This will create a balanced diet for them. They can choose a meal, then you can choose a meal; you have control of the products you buy at the store. For example, if they want to make pizza, you can use wheat dough and low fat cheese.
Maintaining your child’s healthy habits do not have to be stressful. Watching their portions, sugar, and fat intake can contribute to their healthy lifestyle tremendously.