5 Ways to Improve Your Kids’ Healthy Diet This New Year
Aside from being a role model for your children, you can help improve the way your picky little eaters consume their food with these simple and easy-breezy tips. After all, there’s nothing more important than your kids’ healthy diet this New Year!
1. Set a schedule for your kids’ healthy diet.
Plan your children’s meals properly—you really can’t give in to the overpowering laziness on this one. Kids need to eat three meals, two snacks, and plenty of water. Planning all of these ahead of time will not only rid you of the worry of not knowing what to feed your child, but it’ll also make your child’s diet much more balanced. Stock up your pantry with veggies, yogurt, and plenty of water to keep you from ordering fast food takeout on a whim. And while you’re at it, don’t be too commanding at the dinner table either—if you keep telling them to eat their greens, they’ll likely resist you even more. Instead, pose a question so that they will feel like they have an option. For instance, when prepping for lunch, you can ask them which they prefer more—tomatoes or broccoli?
2. Go slow.
It’s always a good idea to introduce new kinds of food to your children, but remember to introduce them slowly. Kids can be resistant to new food by nature, so you have to ease them into it. Better yet, you can get your children to eat new kinds of food by asking for their assistance in the kitchen. Once they become involved in food preparation and in choosing their meals, they will develop a newfound appreciation and excitement over the food that they will eat, thus improving your kids’ healthy diet. You can even take them to the grocery store (here’s a conscientious way to shop: http://taste.company/taste/healthy-living/holy-carabao/) to help you pick out the produce that you will be preparing for dinner. And when they’re done helping you cook, you can let them name their new dish, or even name it after them—just don’t forget to keep everything under your careful supervision. Safety first in the kitchen at all times!
3. Go easy on the junk food.
It goes without saying that junk food is, well, junk. Cut back on these unhealthy treats by making sure there are fewer junk food options available at home. Your kids can’t munch on potato chips if there are none stocked in your house. And if you do buy junk food, remember to buy them in smaller packages and never in bulk. Go for single-serving sized bags instead of family bags. You can check out healthy and kid-friendly junk food alternatives HERE: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-food-for-kids.htm .
4. Let your children enjoy treats every once in a while.
That said, you can’t ban all junk food around the house completely; making them quit cold turkey will just worsen their cravings even more. After all, anything forbidden naturally makes things more appealing to kids. Instead, treat them to some salty McDonald’s fries every once in a while, or give them a couple of sugary treats (here’s a healthy way to enjoy sugar: http://taste.company/taste/cocoro-sugar/ ) to bring to school for recess. And while you’re at it, pack them some brain food to go just like these: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/kids_brain_foods .
5. Have fun!
Who says your kids’ healthy diet needs to be boring and uninteresting? You can always get creative and have fun when you’re prepping for your kids’ meals. The key here is to incorporate variety to keep things spicy. You can encourage them to give silly food names, or to decorate pancakes with smileys and cookie-cutter toasts into stars and hearts. You can mould their rice servings into their favourite cartoon characters, and best of all, you can sit down and actually have a decent conversation during mealtime with them. Eating isn’t simply about consuming food after all—it’s about the bonding time that you can share with your kids. Share stories with each other and laugh over the events of the day! Get rid of electronics, gadgets, and other distractions like TV and games. Never forget to keep an attitude of gratitude during meals, and always cultivate a warm atmosphere of comfort when sharing a home-cooked meal!