You want your child to eat healthier and better, but in a world of commercials filled with sugar cereals, this is not always the easiest thing to do. A lot of things that you think your child should eat, they do not like, so it makes it even more difficult. It is not impossible to get your children to eat better, it just takes a little bit of effort and time. But once they have mastered it, and they understand why they are doing it, you should never have to worry about them again. Here are a few things that you can do to make it an easy transition.
The first thing you need to educate a child to understand why they are eating what they’re eating. Don’t just go with the “vegetables good… junk food bad” mentality. Explain to them why vegetables are good and junk food is bad. Show them how the food industry is taking advantage of them. Even if your child is young, they can still understand this if you presented to them correctly. Children are not stupid, they are just inexperienced, so tell them the truth.
Don’t force them to eat things they hate
Don’t Force children to eat what they don’t want to eat. Generally, their tastes are different from yours, and you may not know why. Just for an example, cilantro is something that is hated or loved by many. Some people genetically taste cilantro as a horrible soapy taste, while others find it quite tasty. If you kept putting cilantro on somebody’s food when they hate it, and just keep telling them they should like it, how successful do you think that would be? If your child does not like broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, and others, don’t worry about it. As their tastes change, they will start to like them as they get older. If you force it on them now, they will dislike it for the rest of their lives, just because of the original negative association. If they don’t want to eat it, don’t force them, don’t say anything, and just try and cooking it completely different another time.
Teach them to cook
One of the best ways to teach a child how to eat well and healthy is to teach them how to cook. They don’t have to do it all the time, and you don’t have to make a class about it, but you can take them shopping to the market and have them choose what vegetables they would like to try. Get them experimenting and you will be quite surprised at what they eat. Show them how to search for recipes online, and their food experimentation will reach a whole new level.
Eat healthy yourself
Don’t expect your child to eat healthy if you do not eat healthy yourself. If you do not eat your vegetables and have Donuts or whatever, don’t expect your children to eat healthily. Children will copy what you do. So, if you do not eat well, they will not eat well. Suck it up and start eating well yourself, for your children’s sake.
Don’t keep junk food in the house
We have all had those moments when we’re dying to have a snack, and we are mad that we did not buy any junk food and have none in the house. Well guess what, that’s the way it should be. If you don’t have easy access to junk food, then you’re not going to eat it. Try and keep a few healthy snacks, or things that pass as healthy snacks, to at least cover those munchies.
Don’t ban junk food completely
As much as it would be nice to ban all junk food from being consumed, it is unrealistic. We have found that making one day a week a junk food day, has helped a lot. If you really want that order of french fries or that pint of ice cream, all you have to do is wait till the one day you’ve chosen. We choose Saturday, and every week we binge on everything that we want. If we want something during the week, we just have to think we only need to wait a few more days. What’s quite amazing is that when Saturday rolls around, you find you really don’t want most of the things that you decided on during the week. With a junk food day, you do not deprive yourself and you still get the emotional happiness of eating junk food, and you can’t eat that much in one day.
So, following the tips above, you will find that it is easier to get your kids to eat healthily. A side benefit is that you will eat healthier as well. In fact, if you tell your children that you want them to help you eat healthily, you will find they drive you up the wall by all the healthy food they will keep bringing. They will set an example for you as opposed to you setting an example to them. Eating healthy is a win-win situation for everyone. Good luck and grab those vegetables.