Teaching Your Kids How to Make Healthy Food Choices

Our kids are inundated by conflicting messages about food, and most of them we’d prefer to keep off their radars. Corporations spend millions of dollars each year on advertising, pushing all sorts of sugary drinks and fatty snacks on our kids, tied in with their favorite cartoon characters. Add that to the fairly unhealthy lunches they get offered at school and the birthday parties and sleepovers you can’t control, and you’re facing an uphill battle. If you want your kids to make healthy food choices, you’re going to have to set the example. It all starts at home, and kids learn what they see. If you don’t make healthy choices, there’s no way you’re going to convince them to eat their vegetables. So first and foremost, practice what you preach. If your actions are in line with your goals, and you still want to see more progress, here are a few other ways you can teach your kids how to make healthy food choices.

First off, bring them back to the source. Most people are so disconnected with how food is grown, it’s no wonder they make poor food decisions. So plan a trip to the local farm and give the kids a first hand look at where their food comes from. You’ll find a family-run, organic farm within a couple hours’ drive of wherever you live, and it will make for a fun and educational day. You and the kids can talk to the farmer, hear about how food is grown, and actually pick fruits and vegetables to bring home with you. Once your children get their hands dirty, they’ll be much more likely to appreciate that food when you serve it up for dinner.

Of course, not everything can come from the farm, so bring them with you to the supermarket and get them involved with the meal planning. Show them how you pick out foods, and remind them that the pricetag isn’t the only factor to consider. Read the labels for your children, and point out the good stuff from the bad stuff. Show them organic fruits versus traditional fruits, and talk about the differences. Point out the stuff they should stay away from, and read the label to explain the reasons why. If you can get your child thinking beyond the fun picture on the box, they’ll immediately start considering their food in a different way. If you play your cards right, the next time you go shopping they may be pointing out the right and wrong products to buy for you.

Now that all the groceries are home, have the kids help you prepare lunch and dinner. Again, many of them just don’t consider what goes into the food that lands on their plate, and if you can make them part of the cooking process, they’ll be much more likely to eat a new food, even if they’ve never been willing to try it before. Cooking as a family can be a lot of fun, and you’ll find jobs that even very young children can take on. Make sure you balance out the healthy foods you want them to eat with one or two of their favorites. It’s all about finding that happy medium, and if your child can have the chicken nuggets he loves as long as he eats the broccoli on the side, the both of you will be much happier.

Finally, think of ways to show them the science behind food. You don’t need to have earned a mha online to help them understand these issues, just use a colorful photo of the new food pyramid. Show them how doctors have recreated the food pyramid to support them to grow big and strong. Tie it to sports or activities they love, telling them how much better they’ll get if they follow the pyramid. It will be a process, but if you stay consistent they’ll pick up more and more of the healthy food choices you want for them.

 

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Comments

  1. Visiting an organic farm is a cool idea.It can help kids understand and learn about the food they eat.Having them involve in meal planning is also a great.I learned a lot.Thanks for sharing.