Practical ideas to help you develop healthy eating habits in kids

Practical ideas to help you develop healthy eating habits in kids

Posted by Lori Shemek; April 13, 2015

Kids have a lot of energy, and the best way to stabilize this high level is through healthy eating. Proper nutrition sharpens the mind of every child, and it also boosts their mood. Even though TV commercials on junk food and peer pressure make eating healthy almost impossible, there are functional ways parents can use to help their little ones stay away from burgers and fries. It is important that you encourage healthy eating habits from a really young age. This way, your little one will grow up knowing what’s good and what’s bad for his body and general health.

Healthy eating helps parents instill awareness, and this way you’ll be able to make an impact on the lifelong relationship of your kid with food. Here are some more tips on how you can persuade kids to eat healthy food.

healthy kid

Take out bad food gradually

It’s really difficult for a parent to stop his child from eating junk food. If your little one already loves unhealthy, salty foods it will be incredibly tough to unhook them from this bad habit. You won’t be able to take out bad food completely without creating a riot, so you might want to take things slow. Don’t ban fries completely, and choose to limit the portions. Better yet, consider healthier alternatives to fries purchased from McDonald’s or cooked in fried oil. Also, parents are not advised to restrict treats or desserts for the bad behavior of their kids. Experts agree that this could lead to unhealthy relationships with food. You wouldn’t want your toddler to eat snacks and sweets behind your back.

Be an example to the kids

When they’re young kids have a tendency to imitate their parents’ behavior and daily endeavors. That being said, if they see that you enjoy healthy meals, they’ll want to try them too. Adhere to a healthy meal plan and show them how much you enjoy your morning cereal or salads. Talk to them about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and spice things up once in a while. It’s quite ok to add a cup of ice cream on top of a fruit salad for example. Don’t force the kids to.

healthy kids2

Make food fun

Kids should enjoy food, but for that to happen parents have to make meals look fun and delicious without being harmful to their health. You don’t have to be an experienced cook to make something nutritious for your little ones; however, you will have to put your creativity to the test. The web is your oyster in this case! There are plenty of tutorials to get inspired from. Kids love color, so their plates have to look fun and enjoyable.

For breakfast, you can opt for fresh fruit cut in funny shapes, with yogurt on the side and some honey on top to make it sweeter, but not that sweet. For lunch, you could opt for a sandwich made of grilled chicken breast, light cedar cheese, tomatoes, spinach and once again, yogurt instead of a full-fat dressing. And last but not least, for dinner you can easily fool them with a veggie pizza made of whole-grain. They won’t even notice there’s no meat or cheese provided that it looks colorful and delicious.

healthy kid 3

Have a schedule

As a parent you are compelled to make time your kids. Sometimes, 24 hours a day is not enough to complete everything you’d like to do in a day. And yet, no matter how busy you are, it is important for the kids to have 3 meals per day and 2 snaking times in between. An eating schedule will create balance. The little ones won’t be tempted to eat junk food and their bodies will have enough energy for the whole day. Have realistic expectations though and try not to force them to eat. Offer them healthy treats every time they abide to the eating plan, and in time this routine won’t be regarded as a struggle.

Developing healthy eating habits in kids can be challenging. A lot of parents have to deal with picky eaters, but this is not the end of the world. The secret to convincing the little ones to eat healthier is to be patient. Talk to them, eat with them and eventually they won’t start screaming every time you drive pass McDonald’s.

Guest Post By Edward Francis and!

©2015, DLS HealthWorks, LLC,  Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, health and weight loss expert and author of How To Fight FATflammation! published by HarperCollins.

Sign-up for Dr. Lori’s free monthly newsletter with free gifts!