Healthy Habits For Kids – Family Eating – Tips For Success

Family Life

Healthy Habits for Kids – Family Eating – Tips For Success

None of us want to eat healthfully 100% of the time. Heck, most of us would rather eat junk 100% of the time. But the reality is healthy eating makes us feel better, have more energy, are smarter and happier when our bellies are filled with nutritious food. By encouraging healthy habits for kids when your children are young you give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, intelligent, strong adults. Who doesn’t want that?

By encouraging healthy habits for kids when your children are young you give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, intelligent, strong adults. Who doesn’t want that?

How do you best develop healthy habits for kids at mealtimes?

Make healthy food choices look amazing. If the food looks appealing your kids are way more likely to gravitate to it. Children are little imitators and will be more easily convinced to eat healthfully if you do as well. Role model this behaviour. If you constantly over indulge in snacks your kids will emulate the same behaviour.

 

Tips to promote healthy eating in children:

Family meals

I cannot encourage you enough to sit down as a family to eat. This is role modelling at it’s finest. If your kids see you enjoying nutritious foods, and it is a fun social experience, they are much more likely to eat the same healthful foods as you.

Turn the TV off

Please do not eat in front of the television. This distracted eating can lead to so much damage. The foods seen in TV commercials are unhealthy and can lead to unhealthy choices. Mindless eating is a difficult habit to break and can lead to obesity. Sit with your family and enjoy each other’s company. Talk about your day instead! How often do you get uninterrupted time to chat with your kids?

Involve your kids in food preparation

Kids love to help parents around the house. It’s how they learn. If you involve your children in picking foods to prepare, cleaning veg and fruit and cutting them (age appropriately), they will be much more likely you sample what you have made together. Getting groceries with your children is a great way to show them the variety of amazing produce and products that are available to us. The colours, smells and textures will inspire them.

Don’t obsesses about cleaning the plate

I think kids should be allowed to eat as much as they are comfortable eating of nutritiously dense food. Letting your child determine when he or she is done will help him or her gauge satiety and lead to less risk of obesity. Offer small amounts of each food and allow your child to decide if he or she wants more. If you have to force-feed what’s left on the plate you are giving too much.

Have nutritious snacks easily accessible

If the cookies and chips are easily accessible to your child and veggies and fruit are not, they are even more likely to gravitate to these easy and yummy foods. Healthy snack ideas for children include washed fruits and sliced vegetables that can be left in the fridge available for kids to grab whenever hunger strikes.

Learn more about picky eaters, and superfood ideas for kids 

The general information provided on the Website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.

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Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

About Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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