It’s back to school time! Back to routine, back to fuller schedules, and back to healthier eating… if it was lost over this quarantine summer. Striving to get the whole family eating better is such a great thing to work on with your kids. Building healthier habits for your little ones now will set them up for success later in life. But how can you best showcase healthy eating? I will say that just telling your kids to “eat their vegetables” typically doesn’t work. They need to be SOLD on healthy eating & why they should strive for it… not just be given a set of eating rules, that’s boring!
Need some ways to model healthy eating in the home? Here’s how!
When kids feel empowered with their food, they are more likely to eat it. A good idea is to include the WHOLE family when you are meal planning for the week. For example, let your kids pick out what the family will eat on Monday. You could even give them a choice of 3 ideas (for example: tacos, meatloaf, or spaghetti) and let them decide which you’ll have. Bonus, it makes it easier on you while planning! You could even start a theme night… every Friday, for example, you could showcase a different ethnic dish to “travel around the globe” together and try new things.
Kids can also feel empowered when cooking. Depending on their age, let them help chop veggies, fruits, or meats. Let them stir, assemble, and plate the meals. Let them prepare a side dish if you are working on the main dish. Kids are much more likely to try something if they helped make it. This is a great way to introduce new foods. Remember, it takes a couple of tries sometimes before a kid “okays” a new food, so don’t give up easily. Just try different cooking techniques, seasonings, or sauces for variety.
Model a Healthy Relationship with Food
How YOU set the tone of healthy eating in the home is how YOUR FAMILY will respond to healthy eating in the home. Your attitude on food & food choices will be reflected in your kids as well. If you prioritize buying healthy food, making good meals, & having sit-down dinners with the family, your kids will be used to these norms & accept them over time. On the flip side, if you demonize “ bad” foods, talk down about your own weight and poor eating habits, restrict foods like dessert, & set strict food rules, your kids will also pick up on those negative associations… which can lead to troubled nutrition habits in the future.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE – be good FOOD ROLE MODELS. Be the person you want your kids to replicate. Try to eat healthfully yourself, move more, & cook more at home… things you’d hope to see in your child. With these strategies in mind, kids won’t need to be SOLD on nutritious eating… they’ll pick it up on their own over time!
So, are you ready to build a healthier lifestyle with the whole family? Let me know! Schedule your complimentary Discovery Call today by clicking HERE. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions!