How to help your kids build healthy eating habits
A healthy eating habit is not only necessary for the growth of young children, but it lays the foundation for their healthy lifestyle in adulthood. Concerned that your children may be picky eaters or eating too much junk food? Check out the tips below to help them develop healthy eating habits.
Involve your children in food shopping and cooking
Taking part in food shopping and cooking is a great way to teach your children knowledge about food and provide them with a sense of accomplishment. As a result, they will be more willing to eat foods they prepare. You can ask your children to recognize fruits and vegetables of different colors and encourage them to help out with simple tasks in food preparation, such as tearing up green leaves or stiring sauces.
Allow snack time
Too many snacks are bad for health, but you don’t necessarily have to forbid them totally from your children’s diet. Children may be more interested in forbidden foods and they may overeat them once there’s a chance. You can set a snack time during the day when children can enjoy some snacks they like, but make sure there’s enough time left before mealtime so that children won’t feel too full to eat.
Focus on variety instead of portion size
Your children’s appetite is fluctuating all the time. Sometimes they finish everything on their plate, but other times they may only eat a little. That’s nothing to worry about, as children know best how much they want to eat. If they feel hungry, they’ll probably make up for it at thet next meal. All you need to do is to offer various healthy food options for them to choose from.
Eat meals together during mealtime
Your children will gradually learn about both good table manners and healthy food choices. So if you want to develop healthy eating habits in your children, set an example for them by trying different foods. In addition, it’s important to create a pleasant atmosphere while eating. If mealtime is unpleasant, children will be more likely to relate eating to stress.
Increase children’s exposure to new foods
People tend to like what they frequently see, and this is true for eating habits. It’s natural for your children to say no to foods that they’ve never seen. Keep providing new foods more times until they start to feel comfortable with them. You can also provide new foods together with foods they like so that they’re more willing to eat.