We all know that we are supposed to eat healthy foods. We try to make sure that our children are eating healthily. But how do you know that the healthy eating ideas for children that you’re preaching are actually being followed by your children? After all, you’re not watching them 24 hours a day.
To a large extent, healthy eating for children needs to become the natural way for your children. Once something becomes a habit, then we will tend to follow that habit. It’s not just bad habits that we follow – good habits are often followed just as easily!
How to make healthy eating for children into a habit
Start by setting a good example yourself. You won’t be able to preach healthy eating for your children if you’re constantly snacking, eating chocolate cakes and slurping down sugary drinks. Your children will see straight through any attempt to get them to “do as I say, not as I do”.
Go through your cupboards and seek out any foods that aren’t healthy for either you or your children to eat.
Throw them out!
Then make sure that you don’t simply replenish them the next time you visit the supermarket.
If your children have become used to not eating healthily, you may need to start training them gradually. Cut out the sweet snacks, replacing them with healthy fruit instead. Make sure that you do the same – your children will soon start a revolution if you’re snacking on a packet of potato chips whilst they have to “make do” with an apple.
Variety is key. Don’t just stock up on apples as the only fruit. And don’t just stick with one variety of apples. Ring the changes and your children will start to eat healthily as a matter of course.
The same goes at meal times. At breakfast time, wean your children off sugary and chocolaty cereals. Maybe start with alternate days. Again, variety is the key to healthy eating for children and adults alike.
Evening meal is another time that you can start introducing healthy food. If your children turn their noses up at vegetables, consider using your blender to mix the vegetables into the gravy or sauce that you’re serving. Also remember that lots of foods can be served different ways. Even the way you slice a carrot can make a difference! Mushrooms can be eaten cooked or raw. They can be chopped small as a garnish.
If your children won’t eat foods like cabbage when they’re cooked, think of using it in coleslaw instead. Raw cabbage has lots of vitamins and tastes nothing like the cooked version. When you’re thinking about healthy eating for your children then you sometimes need to be sneaky like that!