Eating healthy is hard enough for adults much less children. Because some children don’t understand the benefits of eating healthy getting them to eat right can be a challenge. However, as parents and guardians it falls to us to make sure our kids eat healthy meals. Not society, TV, church, or even friends and family but us. Parents and guardians should be the first and last line of defense in the eating healthy wars.
For the first time in over 100 years, children may have a shorter life span than their parents. This is in a lot of cases related to what children today are consuming for food. A report published by the New England Journal of Medicine states an important fact.
They state that the increase of child obesity can cause this current generation of children to have a life span reduction of 5 years. This crisis alone is enough for parents to encourage their children in the ways of eating healthy. Eating healthy can’t be a diet, it must be a lifestyle.
Parents and guardians must lead by example. We cannot expect from our children what we are not willing to do for ourselves. Eating healthy may well be one of the most important things a parent or guardian can teach their child. These are habits they will have for a lifetime.
How Do I teach My Child The Ways Of Eating Healthy?
One of the best and easiest ways to get children to try new foods is to get them involved. Don’t just carry them to the grocery store because you can’t get a babysitter. Carry them as a life lesson. Get them involved in choosing which fruits and vegetables they want to eat.
Get them to try at least one new fruit and vegetable each week. Farmers markets are perfect learning tools for your children. You not only teach them about local farmers, but also what fruits are in season and when. Next, teach your children how to read food labels.
Once you do this, you can make a game out of it every time you go to the store. The game can be to see who can find the healthiest pasta, rice, bread, etc. When you are home, make your children a part of breakfast and dinner preparation. There are a lot of things your children can do to help themselves in eating healthy. Here is just some ideas:
- They can tear up lettuce for salad.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before they are used.
- Snap fresh green beans, or shuck the husk off of the corn.
- They can mash potatoes with a masher.
- Measure fruits and vegetables for recipes.
- Combine fruits or vegetables for dishes.
When it comes to kids and eating healthy, you have to be creative. Most importantly, if your children see you eating healthy, they are likely to follow. Children have an innate desire to follow their parents or guardians. If you are eating healthy, it will be much easier to teach them the ways of eating healthy.
Make eating healthy fun for your children. Pick out fun color containers for your children. Fill them with your child’s favorite fruit and vegetables. The next time they ask for a snack, let them pull out their self made “special” snack container.
Making sure your child is eating healthy is one way to stop the childhood obesity epidemic. And finally one of the most important things to remember is variety. There is a reason for the saying “variety is the spice of life.” Having an abundance of food choices will make eating healthy fun for your child. Give them a wide variety of healthy options to choose from. This can make your task of teaching your child about eating healthy much easier.