Did you know that chronic disease often begins in the gut due to poor nutrition? Therefore, it is incredibly important to encourage a healthy lifestyle for our kids from a young age! Here’s how you can help:
Be the example!
If you are telling your kids they can’t have juice or soda, don’t drink it yourself! Your kids look up to you so lead by example and follow a healthy lifestyle.
It’s never too early or late to start.
Start your kids off from a very young age eating fruits and vegetables. Use things like hummus dips or toothpicks to make vegetables more fun and interesting. If they didn’t like something the first time then you can reintroduce it at a later date, prepared a different way.
Do you have a picky eater at home?
If mealtimes are a struggle, try these 4 tips to help your child develop better eating habits.
1. Make it a family affair by planning family mealtime. Eat meals at the table as a family. Do not offer food while your child is playing, watching television, or walking around.
2. Try different preparation methods -- roasting, air frying or using different seasonings.
3. Try new foods when they are most hungry at the beginning of the meal. Continue offering new foods even if your child has said no to them before. It can take as many as 10 times for a child to try a food and like it. Don’t give up!
4. Be a role model. Your child will eat better and be more willing to try new foods if she sees others at the table eating the same foods. Family members, including older brothers and sisters, are important role models for healthy eating. How can you preach eating whole foods when one kid or parent is eating sugary cereals and doughnuts? Doing a pantry clean out is tough, but sometimes necessary to get all the unhealthy processed food is out of the house.
You can use these tips for a child of any age. It’s never too late to start having a healthier and more enjoyable mealtime.