Healthy eating can feel like a constant battle with your children. However, when you install healthy habits in the early stages, they will be much better equipped for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. At Corner Canyon Academy, we are dedicated to providing children with the building blocks they need for healthy development. Here are a few tips for helping kids eat healthily.
Make Breakfast a Habit
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is for good reason. Eating breakfast helps to start up your body for the day. It provides lasting energy to make it through the day, which can be important for children attending preschool. When you start allowing your children to skip breakfast, they will likely get into the habit of foregoing breakfast. Alternatively, if they are in the habit of eating breakfast, they will be likely to continue that habit. This is an important step in encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
Keep Healthier Snacks Around
What you keep in your house is what will be eaten. Snacking is incredibly common for children and adults alike, even if it is out of boredom rather than hunger. By providing healthier snacking options, you can limit the impact that regular snacking will have on the health of your children. Rather than keeping chips and cookies around the house, stock your kitchen with unsalted nuts, air-popped popcorn, fruit, and other healthy options. This will go a long way toward reducing the impact that snacking can have. It will also enable your children to get in the habit of opting for healthier snacks.
There are many beverages that are generally marketed toward children. It is extremely important to ensure that you prioritize the drinking of water to ensure that your children remain hydrated and healthy. Make juice and other sugary beverages a treat, rather than a staple. Drinking sugary beverages is often one of the largest ways in which children consume sugar. Provide water as the main beverage at mealtimes and encourage your children to drink water throughout the day. Drinking water is an incredibly healthy and beneficial habit to instill in your children.
Eat Meals at the Table
When you have a busy schedule, it can be tempting to unwind in front of the TV at mealtimes. However, this tends to discourage the practice of mindful eating. When you ensure that mealtimes are held at the table, you can encourage your children to eat more mindfully. In addition to this, family mealtimes can provide valuable bonding opportunities. This can also provide you with more opportunities to lead by example regarding your eating habits. When you eat meals at the table, you will often be in a better position to encourage your children to make healthier eating choices.
You may find that children are particularly resistant to making healthy eating choices when they feel as though they are being forced to. However, there are simple tricks that can also be used to ensure that they feel more in control over making healthier eating choices. For example, offer them multiple choices of healthy options. You may also wish to allow them to put their own dinner plate together. This often helps to ensure that they make much healthier choices with less fuss than you otherwise might expect. By an act as simple as offering choices, you may be able to avoid any contention regarding the better eating habits.
Lead By Example
Children are often inclined to mimic the behaviors of their parents. For this reason, healthy eating habits are particularly important to engage in when you are trying to convince your children to make healthier eating choices. Without this, it is possible that your children will be more resistant to the dietary changes that you are making.
Get Them Involved
Get your children involved in the process of making healthy eating choices! Take them grocery shopping with you, teach them how to pick out fruits and vegetables, and allow them to help you when you are cooking dinner. By getting your children involved in the process, they will likely be more enthusiastic regarding eating healthier foods. You may even consider spending a day at the farmer’s market to help them get a more complete picture of how these foods can be obtained.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
Introducing a large selection of new foods at one time can be overwhelming for a child. When you introduce new foods slowly, they will likely be more receptive. It is also important to note that you often need to introduce them to these new foods multiple times before they will learn to like them. Be patient when you try to introduce healthier eating options to your children.
It doesn’t have to be a large argument when you try to help your kids eat healthily. By following these tips, you can often ensure that your kids are far more enthusiastic about the prospect of healthy eating. Our team at Corner Canyon Academy is passionate about providing the information that will aid in your children’s health and development. Preschool can be exceptionally beneficial to aid in their development. To learn more about the benefits of preschool, contact us at Corner Canyon Academy today!