Most of us probably look back on our eating habits as children and wonder what we were thinking. As a child, you’re not counting calories … and everything fits your macros! What’s a vegetable? Dinner? Why have dinner when you can skip straight to dessert? These are all common questions that run through a kid’s mind.
While we all deserve the right to indulge occasionally (adults included), healthy eating should be the rule and not the exception. You want your kids to eat healthy and get all the nutrients they need so that they minimize the risk of developmental issues.
You can’t expect them to make the right choices on their own, however, at least not while they’re being bombarded with sugary snacks on television ads, the grocery store, vending machines, and school lunches.
This is where parenting comes in – make sure to educate your children so that they can make the right choices. Let’s talk about how to get your kids on the right track.
Knowledge Is Power
The first step to developing healthy eating habits is to educate your children about smart nutrition in general. You can’t expect them to log every single calorie at this stage in the game, but they should know the difference between a carbohydrate and a protein. They should also be able to read labels and know to stay away from as many simple sugars as possible.
Learning is a process – it happens over time. Don’t expect to drill them on their diet for hours at a time and have them retain all of the information. Give them bite-sized amounts of nutritional coaching frequently. Monitor their eating habits and look for opportunities to coach them.
Also, remember that the path to a great diet is not a linear one. They will have setbacks, temptations, and moments where it’s acceptable to splurge – they are children, after all.
Here are a few points to drill home:
Avoid high-sugar items like fruit drinks, cookies, desserts, sodas, fruit snacks, etc. Despite what the CMOs of these large corporations may tell you, their sugar-laden products aren’t healthy for anyone – children included.
Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of vitamins and minerals – although you want to steer them toward more vegetables. Vegetables have…
Learn more about healthy eating habits for kids on Life Is An Episode website.