As parents, we know how important it is to teach our children about maintaining a healthy diet. If bad eating habits are established at a young age they typically become more difficult to change with time. It is super important to always have the right foods available for your kids and to also teach them the about the dangers of a bad diet. Here are a few simple tips that can help you keep your families diet on the right track.
1. Plan out healthy breakfasts that your kids will like. A good breakfast could be a lean serving of protein like eggs, Canadian or turkey bacon, or string cheese. Kids often love the sweet flavors of fruits like berries, and make sure to take advantage of that! Fresh fruit paired with a whole-grain cereal and some mixed nuts is another great option. Be sure to push a healthy morning drink like a glass of fat-free or 1% low-fat milk.
2. Don’t just ban junk food. Once your kids open the pandora’s box of junk foods, it can be hard to get them think about eating anything else. Instead of banning these foods in your home, consider allowing them in small and limited quantities at regular intervals. This allows your kids to enjoy their favorite food(s) in a healthy way and teaches them valuable life lesson’s about self-control. This way, your kids will likely avoid binge eating their favorite snack or soda when they are at a friend’s house or when mom isn’t around.
3. Put an end to the mindless munching. Today, our kids have access to a lot of entertainment options that pair perfectly with mindless munching. While your kids are watching TV or using their computers/tablets, don’t let them polish off a large bag of potatoes chips and a couple sodas. It might be a good idea to restrict all foods and drinks(except water) while your kids enjoy these activities.
4. Eat at the table regularly. I know it may sound simple, but just making meal-time a consistent family tradition is a great way to keep your kids on a balanced diet. Set up a regular time where everyone knows they can enjoy a healthy meal and conversation and compliment your kids on their healthy food choices and talk about it.
5. Get your kids involved. Bring your kids to the grocery store and let them shop with you. Let them pick out one fruit and vegetable to try each week and allow them to help with the meal preparation and cooking.
6. Trick their tummies. Most kids don’t have the taste buds for fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli, spinach, squash, carrots, peas, onions, etc and most parents know the struggle when it comes to getting their kids to eat a healthy serving of green vegetables. You can “trick” your kids into eating these foods by simply adding them to other dishes like pasta, lasagna, casseroles, pizza, or soups.