We are thrilled to introduce another guest blogger as part of our Cribsters’ Contributor series. Ernesto Montejo Jr. of the Organic SuperFoods Store shares some great tips for establishing healthy eating habits in both parents and children. For more on eating healthy, check out the OSFS site!
Eating Healthy as a Way of Life
Establishing a healthy diet for your children is essential, and it’s something that should be established at the earliest stage possible. Teaching children to have preferences for healthy foods is something that takes time and patience. That being said, it’s of crucial importance and should be given one of the utmost priorities for children during their developmental stage. Just like with so many other things, establishing good habits early can go a long way towards avoiding larger issues later on in life.
Making the Healthy Choice Child Training Tips
- Set a Good Example
The best way for parents to teach children is by setting an example themselves. If you want to teach children the value of eating and opting for healthy foods, then make sure that they see you making those same choices yourself. When you dine out, make it a point to choose foods that are mostly fruits and vegetables. Your encouragement to eat healthy will really be reinforced if they see you walking the walk. Remember, children will imitate what grown-ups do, so make it a lifestyle, and eventually they’ll follow.
- Make it Exciting
Fruits and vegetables are generally not exciting to eat to begin with for most children, especially when compared to hot dogs, pizza and candy. One of the best ways to help children is to make it exciting for them by adding variations on how fruits and veggies are served. Serve them in ways that spice things up a little bit. Try putting a frozen banana into the blender to make banana ice cream. You can also cut up slices of watermelon and put them in the freezer to make watermelon popsicles.
- Eat Together, Stay Together
Eating together not only is helpful in building excellent rapport with your family but is also a great time for imparting values to your children. It’s not only what you eat that’s important, but it’s also how you eat. Eating on a set schedule, with the family, and making sure not to rush through eating, are important components of good eating habits.
- Remove Distractions During Mealtime
Make it a point to set boundaries during mealtimes, such as turning the television off. It’s important that children are able to learn the value of focusing on what they eat and, by doing so, they’ll see the value of the food they eat. That’s hard to do with an iPhone in their face or the TV taking away all of their attention.
- Give Treats
Everybody deserves a reward for good behavior from time to time. Don’t be afraid to let your kids have something that’s a little unhealthy once in a while – as long as they know it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet. Completely depriving children of treats creates a greater risk that they’ll go overboard the next time they get their hands on some. So, from time to time, let your kids indulge – and maybe even have a little yourself.