When you’re raising younger children, the goal of getting them to eat better can always seem out of reach. I know that, with sugary and salty treats regularly available, my kids often naturally gravitate towards one of those options rather than eat the healthy food I put on the table. Fortunately, while it’ll still take a bit of coaching, there are several ways to ensure kids get the nutrients they need. Learn how to get your kids to eat healthier just like mine and, maybe, even enjoy it.
Eat Meals as a Family
When kids sit down for a homemade family meal, they’re more likely to gain an understanding of what’s on their plate. This is how they learn the difference between the food groups and what healthy food looks and tastes like. At my own dinner table, this gives me the power to lead by example and show them what they should be eating by preparing healthier meals. Established meal times also get your children into a routine where they’re less likely to eat filling snacks and provides you with additional opportunity to praise their good choices.
Encourage Them to Drink Water
Along with healthy eating, I also try encouraging them to drink more water rather than sugary juices or soda. Water is proven to assist with the absorption of nutrients into the body, making healthy foods more effective at providing them with the vitamins they need to grow. However, I know that many children, given the choice, will always prefer flavorful drinks over water—this makes it more difficult to change this behavior. Fortunately, there are several ways to make water taste better that you can experiment with to find an alternative that they like.
Keep Healthier Snacks Available
If you want your kids to eat fewer unhealthy snacks, the simplest solution is to stop buying them. As difficult as this may be, trust me—everyone will be better off. However, it’s important to note that you can’t cut snacks out of their diet entirely. Otherwise, you’ll not only get backlash from your kids, but they also won’t be receiving enough energy throughout the day. So, it’s recommended that you replace unhealthy snacks with wholesome alternatives. For example, rather than cookies and chips, try to keep fruits and granola bars available for them instead.
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