How to Teach Kids to Eat Healthy

Children need proper nutrition to grow strong and healthy. Making sure your child eats right can be a challenge. Try the following ideas to help you raise healthy eaters.

How to teach your kids to eat healthy

Being a good role model is essential. Your kids will learn to love healthy foods by seeing you eat them. Children, especially young ones, will do as their parents do. Let them see you eating fresh fruits and vegetables rather than junk food.

Eat meals with your children. The easiest way to be a good role model is to sit down and eat meals with your children. Serve your children the same food you eat, even young children enjoy a variety of flavors and textures. Food manufacturers have convinced us we need to serve them special food, (see the video below) so if you are already serving nutritious meals to the adults, dish up the kids some too.  As an added bonus you’ll find the family time is priceless.

Limit your child’s exposure to television advertising, especially young children. Most adults are lured in by advertisements so children with less experience and reasoning power don’t have a chance. With older children, when they watch an ad on tv you can discuss what motivates the company, ie: “getting people to buy their product,” and why that product isn’t the best choice. Here’s an excellent video to help you understand how we and our children are being tricked, ooops I mean influenced by food advertisers!

Children love helping in the kitchen so let them pitch in, they will learn many valuable life skills. Most kids can’t wait to eat something they’ve made themselves. If your child doesn’t like the idea of eating something if they don’t know what’s in it, having them help you prepare the meal means they can see everything that’s in it! Then they may be more willing to eat anything you place on their plate.

Offer a new food several times before giving up, but only for a while. Children’s tastes change as they grow.  Last month’s favorite food might be on this month’s gross list. Don’t get into a power struggle over food. Some days kids aren’t as hungry as others. What your child eats in a week is more important than what they consume in one day.  Keep offering them a variety of healthy options, with time they will add more foods to their diet.

Don’t stock your cupboards with junk food. If you don’t have cookies, candy, and chips in your house your children can’t eat it. After a while they will stop asking for it. You can offer healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetable sticks, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, cheese, or peanut butter. Offer real food, rather than processed foods.

Make food fun, allow your children to play with their food. If you think your child will be more likely to eat fruit if it’s made into a funny face, what will it hurt if they make them? Your goal is to get your kids to eat healthy food and sometimes whatever works is fine.

Take your child on a field trip to a farm! Visit an orchard, farm, ranch, and/or upick garden with your children at least a few times a year so they can see where some of their food comes from. Children love gardening if you have the time and space to grow some vegetables. Take your child shopping for produce at your local farmer’s market. They can often meet the person who grew their food.

Don’t like something? Do keep your negative opinions about food to yourself. Even if you don’t care for a particular food, don’t make negative comments about it within earshot of your children. This will enable your child to form their own opinions about it.

Did you find these ideas helpful? Do you have your own tips for teach kids to eat healthy? Share them below in the comments, we’d love it if you do!


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