How to promote healthy eating habits for your children
Looking after kids is exhausting and getting them to eat healthy food can be another battle to face. Here are some of our top tips on how to conquer this particular task. Whether your kids are little or teens these tips will help you to promote healthy eating and make it become a habit rather than a chore.
Make a schedule
Try and be organized with meal times if you can (easier said than done I realize!) Sit down and plan some meals for the week and let your children be involved in what they’re going to eat for the week ahead.
Introduce new foods slowly
Introducing kids to a big plate of new food can be daunting – I’ll never forget the day that my fish hating brother went to a sushi restaurant, there was pure fear in his eyes! Children are very inclined to dislike new foods so remind them that this is normal and it takes a while to get used to new tastes. Also, if they often mimic their parent’s behavior so if they see that you’re regularly eating this food they will realize it’s not that bad.
Get them cooking
If your kids feel like they’ve been involved in cooking something, it’s a lot more fun for them to eat their finished product!
Be a role model
Sit down and eat with your little ones and make sure that it’s a healthy well-balanced plate of food also. If you’re constantly on a diet or not eating well this will be picked up on. Practice what you preach!
Make sure your child eats breakfast
Breakfast is absolutely vital, particularly if you don’t want a grumpy and tired child later on in the day. Try and make breakfast a really good meal of the day so that the day gets off to a good start. If you’re having trouble, start off with a small meal and work from there.
Make snack time healthy
Keep plenty of chopped up fruit and vegetables around that are easily accessible. Instead of a chocolate bar, every snack time gives them a bowl full of these. (You can make them fun like the picture below)
Eat meals together as a family
Due to busy schedules, this obviously isn’t always possible, however when you can try to eat dinner as a family as this will instill a sense of normality around the dinner table. Try and make the conversation pleasant and fun so there is a positive feeling associated with mealtimes.
Get the whole family moving
Instead of having a duvet day on Sunday (which of course is sometimes extremely necessary) try and go out for a family walk or bike ride. This will tire the kids out (hopefully) and will make exercise normality. Get them involved in your InstructorLive classes too 🙂
Avoid buying junk in bulk
It can be tempting to ‘stock up’ on junk food when you see an offer or discount but for your own sake and your kid’s sake don’t do it! If it’s there, it will be eaten. Buy a small pack of treats and store out of sight and reach!
Don’t make them eat everything on their plate
It’s good for children to learn to recognize when they’re full. Allow them to stop eating when they feel full (obviously within reason…not after one bite). Making them eat when they are full can promote unhealthy eating habits and overeating so try not to do this if you can!