Teaching Kids About Healthy Eating
“Eat your veggies.”
“They are good for your health. Finish them.”
“No. I want pizza!!”
How many times have you tried to make your kids eat healthy food? It is a constant battle for most parents that often ends up with the kids happily munching on sweets or junk food and the parents feeling exhausted.
The solution? Instead of forcing them to eat healthy food, teach them about healthy eating habits. Of course, that’s also not a piece of cake!
Teaching kids to eat healthy can be tricky. It is essential to help them learn how each food they consume affects their bodies. Kids should know early on why eating healthy matters and how essential it is to maintain a balance.
Here are a few tips that can help you encourage healthy eating in children and help them develop a habit:
Rules Shall Be Broken
Instead of creating rules that could easily get ignored or broken, try establishing a routine. Let’s look at a few ways you can do that:
- Make healthy foods a default item in every meal
- Get your kids involved in selecting a tasty, nutritious option
- Let kids select veggies and fruits of their choice
Getting them involved will form a habit instead of a set of rules they are being forced to follow.
Let Them Have a Go at the Menu
Give them a peek at the items available in the pantry and fridge, and let them decide what to cook. Once they have shared some ideas, you can discuss healthier options. Start cooking with your helpers once everyone has agreed on the menu. Don’t forget the dessert.
Come Up With Fun Names
Avoid labeling foods “bad” or “good.” Instead, teach them how each food has a place in a balanced diet. Eating healthy doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy pizza and sweets. They must learn about moderation and balance.
Make it fun by labeling foods as
- “Whoa” – Foods that should be eaten occasionally, like french fries
- “Slow” – Foods that are less healthy, like waffles
- “Go” – Healthy foods, like skim milk, veggies, and fruits
This will show the kids what is good for them, what isn’t, and what foods they should think about before consuming.
Get Their Hands Dirty with Gardening
Growing your own food at home is an excellent way to teach them the importance of healthy food. Planting the seed, looking after the plants, and then the excitement of getting the produce will encourage them to eat healthy and even make them more responsible.
Teaching kids healthy eating habits sets them up for a healthier lifestyle as they grow. Establishing a positive relationship with food and maintaining a balanced eating approach can lead to positive lifelong health outcomes.
You can always consult with your family doctor to determine the nutrition your kids need. They can help you understand food portions, mealtime behaviors, primary food groups, and more.
Mt. Elizabeth Academy encourages and promotes healthy eating in all our programs. Our daycare also offers after-school programs, infant care, summer camps, childcare, pre-K early learning, and other early learning activities for families in Acworth, Marietta, Kennesaw, Brookstone, and other areas. Get in touch with us today for more information.