Parenting is overwhelming enough, but it becomes even more challenging when you are discouraged by your kids’ food choices. Every parent has a common story to tell about how their kids shy away from green veggies or sort the carrots out of the soups. At the same time, those kids are quite fond of cookies, ice cream, burgers, and chips. We all know very well how tough it is to have a picky eater for a child.
Most children simply hate healthy foods in a world where they’re surrounded by convenient fast foods. As a result, obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate, posing big health risks such as asthma, bone and joint problems, and even cancer.
Parents who are growing more concerned about their kids’ health will try anything to make them eat healthy meals, either forcibly or for some promised reward.
Those are not the best ways as children end up temporarily eating the meals for the sake of getting something or to avoid the pressure, but they never break the bad habits. Instead, your aim should be to teach them the importance of healthy food. It will not only inspire them to eat something nutritious, but also help them differentiate, on a lasting basis, between healthy and unhealthy food. Here are some useful guidelines for teaching them.
Be the Source of Inspiration:
If you’re regularly lying on a sofa with a large hamburger in your hand, you can’t convincingly teach your children healthy eating habits. Children learn by observing your activities, so you can influence how they feel about eating for better or worse. In eating, as in all things, you need to be their role model.
If your kids see you eating veggies and doing regular workouts, they will become self-motivated to do the same. You can also explain to them the benefits of eating a balanced diet and getting proper exercise. In these ways, you convey successfully that good health is important.
Make it a Fun:
You don’t need to give long lectures on the importance of nutrients in food. Instead, accomplish the same thing in a fun way so that your child grasps it easily. Play various games with them; for example, offer a carrot or a bite of broccoli as the reward in a treasure hunt.
The ever growing digital world has made the job easier for you! There are many mobile phone games that encourage children to enjoy healthy food.
The next time you go to the grocery store, take your kids with you. Introduce them to various fruits and vegetables and explain why they are important. This will evoke their curiosity, and they may ask you to prepare the foods they’ve learned about for a meal. Let the children choose which vegetable they want to have for dinner. Taking part in the purchasing decision inspires a sense of pride, increasing their interest in trying healthy food.
You can even ask for their company while cooking the food! Kids are more likely to eat meals that they have helped prepare.
Buy a Variety of Healthy Food:
Develop the habit of shopping together for healthy food because your children will more likely eat what they help you buy. Then make those items accessible to the kids by putting them in the refrigerator to replace sugary drinks and snacks. When kids have healthy food around to satisfy their hunger, they won’t crave those large slices of pizza or handfuls of chips.
Try Some New Recipes:
You can make delicious recipes of the veggies and fruit customarily avoided by your kids. It is an effective way to encourage them to eat nutritious food. For example, if your children dislike oatmeal, you can make it interesting to them by baking it with a topping of nuts and raisins. Serve veggies and fruit to them in salads with eye-appealing garnishes.
Explore your creativity by making funny faces with ketchup. You can also replace their greasy chips and candy bars with almonds, walnuts and other nut-oreinted snacks.
Adding a variety of colors and textures to your recipes is eye-appealing for kids, especially with fruits and vegetables. A child who never sees veggies will develop into an adult who never eats green vegetables. By employing the methods above, you can turn even the fussiest kids into healthy eaters.
Through these small steps, you can also help your kids maintain healthy weight levels while avoiding the side effects of obesity. Besides teaching them about healthy food, encourage them to do exercises like running, jumping or dancing. Don’t make it as though you’re imposing the changes on your children. Keep things positive and always make it fun. Along the way, make sure your goals and the limits your set for your children are both realistic and achievable.
At home, limit their T.V. and electronic game time and promote the physical activities they enjoy. Outside the home you can meet with your school’s administrators to request that they keep healthy food in their cafeteria and honor recess time. Take your children for health checkups including BMI, cholesterol, and blood pressure. In these ways, your children will be healthy, fit, and in good shape all around.