Children will look to their parents for direction. If you’re regularly serving and consuming fattening foods or sugar-filled snacks, your kids won’t think twice about grabbing a candy bar or other junk food.
The last thing you will want is for your son or daughter to develop a bad relationship with food, which can impact their physical and mental health. For this reason, you must look for ways to help your children to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are often filled with salt, fat, and sugar, which can add to your child’s waistline and damage their overall health. Try to avoid adding processed and packaged foods onto their plate and focus on providing more natural ingredients, such as meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables.
Lead by Example
Children will imitate their parents from an early age. If you’re munching on potato chips and chocolate each day, you can guarantee they’ll want to follow in your footsteps. Prevent your kids from making poor food choices and lead by example.
To do so, you must:
Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
Drink eight glasses of water
Choose healthy snacks over junk food
Enjoy at least 20 minutes of exercise per day
You also should look for ways to get your family moving, such as a bike ride, a walk outdoors, or even a dance contest.
Improve Their Food Education
Improving your children’s knowledge of healthy ingredients could help them to develop an appreciation for natural, nutrient-rich foods. For example, growing a herb garden could help your child to develop an interest in different herbs and spices, which could encourage them to try new flavors and textures.
You also could provide titbits about different products on their plate. Your kids might be fascinated that a salmon’s color is determined by the fish’s diet. For example, the salmon pink color is often achieved during farming, as farmers will add synthetic astaxanthin to avoid an unappealing grey hue.
Involve Your Children
Involving your children in the shopping and cooking process could increase their interest in healthy ingredients, and it can create the illusion of control over their diet. Plus, if they’ve picked the groceries with you at a store, they’ll be more likely to try them when served for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to involve your children in the cooking process, as they might enjoy washing vegetables, marinating meat, or prepping a salad.
Provide Access to Healthy Snacks
Don’t want your kids to turn to junk food when their stomachs start to rumble? Keep hunger at bay by providing access to various healthy snacks, such as:
You also should lock away junk food, such as chips, cookies, and soda, which can help them to understand the difference between healthy items and junk food.
If you follow these helpful tips, you could help your children to develop a positive relationship with food and enjoy a healthy mind and body throughout their youth and adulthood.