As a parent, feeding your child is not simply meeting their physical requirements, it can be an act of nurturance and love. When your child is experiencing distress, whether physical or emotional, doctors and therapists alike will advise you to ensure your child eats healthy. As helpful as this advice may seem, any parent knows this is easier said than done.
We all struggle with healthy eating; however, episodes of unhealthy eating can become habits. Many processed foods are engineered to deliver strong responses in our desire to eat (even more of) them! Encouraging children to eat healthy foods can be a challenge, but it is important for their overall health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you and your child eat healthy foods:
Lead by Example
Children often model the behavior of their parents, so it is important to set a good example by eating healthy foods yourself. Stock the house with healthy food for everybody so your child sees you’re making the effort as well.
Make Healthy Foods Fun
You can make healthy foods more appealing to your child by presenting them in a fun and creative way. For example, you could use cookie cutters to shape fruits and vegetables into fun shapes. Sometimes, you may even be able to sneak vegetables into some of their favorite foods, such as pureeing carrots into spaghetti sauce.
Involve your Child in Meal Planning
Eating healthy can be more fun when your child is a part of the process! Involve your child in meal planning and grocery shopping, and let them choose healthy foods that they enjoy. You can also keep healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and nuts easily accessible and visible, so your child can decide what they want to snack on.
Moderation is key. You don’t have to cut their favorite foods out of their diets entirely but instead make treats something to look forward to. If they have their favorite candy to look forward to at the end of the week, they’ll be more motivated to eat healthy along the way. Moderation will also create in them a healthy relationship with food.
It’s important to educate your child on the importance of eating healthy. Model for your child the mindset that eating healthy is a piece of the puzzle to keep their entire body healthy. If you need support in creating a healthy diet in your child’s life, connect with us today!