Do you ever wonder why some kids hate broccoli? If your child refuses to eat them, don’t worry. It’s not uncommon. Taste is hardwired. Taste is related to a group of genes that you inherit from your parents and eventually pass on to your own kids. And although genes are ingrained and there’s not much that you can do to change them, it’s still important to make sure that vegetables are incorporated into your child’s diet. Lucky for you, there are a number of things that you can do as a parent to help your child develop healthy eating habits.
Here are five ways to get you started.
Stock Up on Healthy Food
When you’re hungry, you have an immediate urge to open your fridge. It’s something that’s done out of habit. And, sometimes out of boredom. You open the fridge looking for something to snack on. And hey, your kids do that too! And quite often, in fact.
Knowing this, it’s best to prepare and stock up on healthy food. You can either store prepared healthy snacks or some fresh veggies that they can use for a salad.
As with any habit that your kids form, developing healthy eating habits must start with you. They learn by observation. So, be a good role model as kids follow what they often see their parents do.
Schedule Snack Time
Consuming meals are great. But, constant snacking can be a problem. This can lead to obesity, weight gain, and a lack of appetite during regular mealtimes. Having a consistent schedule for snacks and meals could help you manage this.
Replacing junk food with healthy snacks also works as it takes away the harm of snacking during off-hours and gives kids an incentive to snack on healthy food more frequently rather than skipping snacks altogether.
Allow them to Choose
It’s normal for kids to be picky with their food. Toddlers, at their age, are just beginning to develop food preferences. This can make mealtimes a struggle for parents. Having your kids choose what they want to eat from a list can make mealtimes more bearable. You can select a main dish and allow them to choose the toppings or sauces. Involving them in the process of deciding what to eat reduces the likelihood of them refusing it.
Minimize Fast Food
Bribing works sometimes, but it’s also quite tricky. Bribing your kids with fast food may not be a good idea after all. It’s easy for one to fall for the delicious and gratifying taste of fast food meals, but it can be a problem when kids develop a taste for it. Some kids may in turn begin to dislike eating fruits and veggies. If it can be avoided, minimize the consumption of fast food as much as possible. Never use fast food meals as positive reinforcement. They can still be an option when you don’t want to cook !
Start while they’re Young
Kids develop a liking to certain types of food when they are exposed to them over long periods of time. If this is a way to develop healthy eating habits, don’t you think it’s best to start when your kids are young? The answer is YES. As soon as your kids can consume solid foods, give them mashed fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli, bananas, and others.This can help your child develop a liking for them. Thus, healthy eating habits will be a natural part of their lifestyle by the time that they are school aged.
Need more tips on developing healthy eating habits? At HandPrints Academy, we advocate for the importance of nutritionally balanced meals and promote healthy eating habits to our students.
Email us at [email protected] or call (214) 484-1018 for additional information. Schedule a tour today!