All parents would agree that keeping the child happy and healthy is a #1 priority. A lot of this has to do with food – nowadays it has become so clear what an effect food has on our bodies and ability to function that you can no longer tell yourself that what you eat doesn’t matter.
Trying to implement this and get your children to eat right is an extremely important thing… but it also proves extremely difficult sometimes! With all that unhealthy junk around, and with candy everywhere and all around in other kids’ homes, in schools and so on, it’s not easy to convince the child they need to eat veggies and fruits instead of those sugar-filled horrors.
Here are a couple of tips that might help make it just a bit easier and help open the family to the world of healthy food for kids in a fun, enjoyable way.
#1 Read the right books
Did you know there are actually quite a lot of books for children about healthy eating? There are plenty of books out there to help your child learn about how food is made (for instance the classic The Little Red Hen), develop awareness of food and what it does to their body (Claire Llewellyn’s Why Should I Eat Well?), and of course, special books for fussy eaters (from Lauren Child’s famous I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato to Josh Schneider’s Tales for Very Picky Eaters.)
#2 Set a good example
Often, what kids see at home is what they imitate outside (as well as later on in life.) Stock your fridge and pantry with fun but healthy food – have fruits and nuts ready for snacking, prepare balanced meals from good materials, and try as hard as you can to avoid take-away junk food and overly processed food. If the kids see how well you yourself face these temptations – eating a fruit salad as a dessert instead of munching on a chocolate cake, for instance – it will be easier for them to follow suit.
It’s important not to demonize unhealthy food or try and make it disappear completely; for one, it’s impossible (there are other kids’ parties etc) and additionally, it will only create an interest in those foods. They need to be available – but only on occasion. The kids should learn and get used to having these treats but only in measured amount and not too many times a day, while sticking to more nurturing food on a regular basis.
#3 Get them involved in the kitchen
Teach the kids about the different meals of the day, about what different dishes are made from, about ingredients and so on. If they get to smell and touch the ingredients, and even help make the meal, they will be more invested in the food. It will also help instill in them habits that will serve them well later in life – getting used to cooking rather than eating out all the time, knowing how to pick the right materials and everything relating to being a real home chef.
You can even do it while singing fun songs for kids, like TuTiTu’s own Kitchen Song!
How do you get your kids to eat healthy? Tell us in the comments and SHARE this article with friends!