Anyone that’s struggled with extra pounds often found out the problem came from poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. As a mom, I want my children to get the best start in life that’s possible and I know most of my clients that are mothers feel the same. Knowing what to teach your kids about nutrition is often one of the problems parents face. But it’s one that’s easily solved.
Set a good example for the kids.
Kids learn to eat by what they’re served at home. Sure you’ve always got the picky eater who won’t touch the broccoli and tries to feed his or her Brussels sprouts to the dog, but with so many healthy recipes and healthy choices, you’re bound to find something that fits their palate as well as yours and is low in calories and high in nutrition. We tend to eat what we know, so make sure all snacks and meals are healthy and they’ll not only get a healthy start, it will probably continue the rest of their life.
Make it a rainbow and unicorn meal.
Okay, maybe unicorns aren’t part of the meal—especially not the meat part! The plates can be filled with a rainbow of color that will provide a wealth of nutrition. Choosing a fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors is a simple way to not only create a great looking plate of food, but one that’s packed with loads of different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Make eating healthy a game.
You can make it like a scavenger hunt, collecting and eating different vegetables and fruit. Keep a scoreboard listing the different vegetables each child that ate during the week and/or day. Creating fun displays like a whale from a watermelon stuffed with a mix of watermelon and other fresh fruit in its mouth. A pineapple porcupine and vegetable flowers make eating healthy more fun.
Have healthy snacks ready and in the refrigerator. It’s easier to eat healthy when there’s no effort involved. If it’s all ready to eat, the kids will help themselves.
Have them help you cook and make healthy meals. There are some simple tasks that don’t require knives or have anything to do with fire that young children can do. Older children can even find recipes and help create new delights for the meal.
Grow a garden. Even if you don’t have yard space, many vegetables can be grown in pots. Those will be more desirable to eat than store bought food. Find a U-pick and take the kids along if you’re just getting started and a garden is out of the question.
Take the kids to the grocery to help you shop. Show them how to pick healthy food. Teach them to read labels for ingredients and if they can’t pronounce the words or it sounds like a bad science experiment, it’s time to find something else to eat.