10 Ways to encourage healthy eating in children at home
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With obesity rates continuing to climb all across the globe it is important as parents to look at alternative ways other than control to save your children from also being at risk. Along with obesity, are many other issues that children may become exposed to such as poor dental hygiene, diabetes, low self esteem, or bullying.
So what can you do as parents to help prevent your children from being affected by improper nutrition?
1. Begin healthy eating at a young age. Healthy food is plentiful and comes in many different varieties. Add a little fun to your sliced fruits and vegetables by making them into shapes. Children will enjoy this.
2. Be a good role model for your children. If you don't want them to eat healthy then don't eat unhealthy foods in front of them. You will be helping yourself at the same time to develop a healthier lifestyle. If you are like myself and need an occasional treat save it for when you are alone. Trust me you will be able to enjoy it more too.
3. Take control of what goes in the shopping basket. Take this as an opportunity to develop some meal plans and stick to them. Choose snacks that are more healthy and natural such as fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, etc.
4. Let children help in planning and preparing meals. Little ones enjoy helping their parents in the kitchen. Show them that you appreciate their help.
6. Eat at regular times. While there are some exceptions to why meals may not always be on time at least try to have as little time change as possible. Failure to do so may result in little ones becoming anxious and filling up on unhealthy snacks.
7. Keep it simple. Many parents hold unnecessary expectations when it comes to meal time. While it is fine to mix up various meals, or add extra flavorings and colors just remember your children might not enjoy it the same as you would.
8. Allow the occasional treat. Let them choose a special meal, snack, or dessert and enjoy together as a family. This shows them that you are happy to share a treat with them.
9. Do not use food as a reward. Instead offer praise, stickers, reading books.
10. When spending time outside the home be sure to have healthy snacks available. Even a planned short trip out can turn out longer than expected. Once hunger strikes little ones tummies you will want to ensure that you can fill them up with good wholesome food snacks such as nuts, trail mix, fresh fruit, and plain biscuits.