5 Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Healthy Eating
Our kids live in a world filled with weekly treats at school, junk food sneaked to them by doting family members and TV ads that sell unhealthy food filled with all sorts of artificial ingredients.
So faced with these terribly appealing choices, how do we get them to grow up with a genuine appreciation for all things healthy and make wise choices about the food they eat?
Here are a few tips to teach our kids how to best nourish their growing bodies and minds:
1. Empower them with choices
Why should choices be healthy vs unhealthy? We could offer two healthy choices. For eg, we could ask our child: would you like to have an apple or strawberries? This way, our child feels they have control over what they are eating.
2. Cook together
When we involve our child in the kitchen, it not only gives us an opportunity to talk about nutrition, but also increases the possibility of them eating what they have helped cook. We can show them how to wash and peel veggies or how to prepare their own glass of fortified milk. We can explain how each food group helps in their growth.
3. Strike a balance
We need to demonstrate to our kids that healthy eating isn’t about avoiding any one food or food group, but enjoying a variety in the right amount. This includes treats as well, which should be in moderation so that they don’t feel deprived. For eg. A healthy balance could be chocolate-covered strawberries or homemade pizza with vegetable sauce and cheese or fruit muffins topped with cream cheese frosting.
4. Make food fun
Our kids are visual learners. So we could teach them about healthy food through making a human body using veggie and fruit building blocks. Eg. using carrot slices for the eyes, a piece of tomato for the heart, celery for bones and limbs. Or we could create a rainbow chart and get them to tick off the colors that he’s eaten. Or we could make a cereal necklace with wholegrain cereals, which she can wear and enjoy eating.
5. Eat together
There’s nothing quite like a family meal, because that’s when we can lead by example. If our child sees us eat a wholesome salad with every meal, he’ll do the same.
Mums, it’s not easy to inculcate healthy eating habits when the lure of unhealthy food is prevalent. But, don’t lose heart; with patience and persistence, we can slowly help our children make one better choice at a time. Not every meal has to be 100% healthy. We can work our way towards 90% healthy, leaving 10% for indulgences.
Do you have any tips to help your kids eat healthy? Share them with other mums in the comments section below.