Monday, 2nd November 2020
Encouraging a child to form healthy eating habits later on can be difficult, but there are ways and means of cultivating a healthy approach to food at an early stage.
Here are some our top tips for convincing kids to eat a balanced diet:
A healthy home-cooked meal is always better than a pre-packed alternative, and by cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients, you can show your kids the whole range of flavours and food combinations which are possible via this method.
Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore – it can be lots of fun! Teaching kids this principle with practical experiences in the kitchen allows for some experimentation in safe conditions – and also provides some great child/parent bonding time. If it’s not practical to cook with your kids every day, try scheduling a day a week where you cook a healthy meal of their choice. Seek out new recipes, go through recipe books with them looking for inspiration, and generally have fun with this idea as a way to cultivate healthy and balanced ideas about food.
When you’re encouraging healthy eating, it’s best not to force children to eat things you know they can’t stand. Imagine how you would feel faced with a plate of food you hated? A child’s taste buds have a very sharp sense of different flavours. To avoid food waste and poor nutrition, compile a list of foodstuffs your child loves, instead – and try to incorporate the healthiest options into your eating plan.
The chances are, after a day at school, your kids will start reaching for snacks of some kind or another. This is perfectly normal and a way of dealing with dipping energy levels, but it’s important to make sure they’re avoiding too much unhealthy sugar and instead sticking to a healthier alternative than the pre-packed snacks which are often used at this time. Keep a fruit bowl stocked with delicious options to provide an energy boost without messing with your healthy eating plans.
If treat-time isn’t incorporated somewhere into your healthy eating plan, then kids will probably seek a way of finding unhealthy food elsewhere. There are plenty of ways of allowing a little indulgence every now and then without completely destroying your healthy eating plan.
Making sure your child knows what they’re eating – from how to read a food label to how to or getting them involved in food shopping can be a great way to cultivate healthy habits which last a lifetime.