As more and more fast food options pop up all around you, it’s more important than ever to help your child develop healthy eating habits. The sooner you encourage a wholesome diet, the sooner you’ll jumpstart your kids into eating well far into the future. Healthy eating shouldn't feel like a punishment, but a normal way of life. Click To Tweet
The Importance of Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating should be encouraged from a very young age. This will make the transition to preschool or kindergarten easier, as they’ll be used to wholesome food choices. Here are a few tips to help your child develop healthy eating habits:
Keep Healthy Food on Hand
If you don’t want your kids munching on chips or crackers every time they feel hungry, you need to keep plenty of healthy alternative on hand. Fruits and vegetables, like applesauce, baby carrots with hummus, apples, bananas and raw vegetables with dip are great alternatives to packaged food. Make sure that fresh foods are the only option available at home, and you’ll find that your child adapts to that kind of eating quickly.
An edible garden is a fantastic way to get your child exciting about eating healthy. Plant a small crop of cucumber, tomatoes, and basil. Once they start growing, encourage your child to help tend and care for them until they’re ready to harvest. Then let your little one help you prepare a meal using ingredients right from their own backyard!
Limit Junk Food
Junk food and fast food are full of all kinds of chemicals that make your child feel good but at the cost of nutritional value. The carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and sodium in processed food are all fairly addictive. Eaten too frequently, your child will only crave those foods. Avoid this dilemma by limiting the amount of junk food they get.
Being The Example
Encouraging a healthy diet is more than talk. You must be the example of healthy portion sizes, wholesome food and resisting temptation. On a hot day if you’re craving ice cream, opt for frozen yogurt instead, taking time to explain what makes it a better choice. Bring healthy snacks to the park or to playdates, so they can see you enjoying fruit and veggies.
Make It Fun
Eating healthy shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Make healthy eating a fun activity in your home. Pack bento box lunches full of colorful fruits and vegetables. Make one night a week pizza night, giving your child the power to personalize their own pizza with cheese, meats and vegetables. The more they associate health with fun, the easier it will be to encourage good habits!
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