Jun 20, 2017

Convincing Your Children to Eat Healthily

Convincing children to break their bad eating habits is incredibly difficult, but it’s needed and you’d be surprised at how unhealthy children are these days compared to a decade ago. Children typically eat a lot of sweets and snacks throughout the day. A can of cola or a bottle of fruit juice, a piece of chocolate and a biscuit will easily push your child over their recommended daily sugar intake, and their love for fast food will ultimately cause them to become obese in the future if you don’t carefully monitor their diet.

You’d be surprised at how straightforward convincing your children can be, but it’s important to treat your children with respect and understand that they want to indulge in the foods they love. Here are a few tips that will help you convince your children to take up better habits.




Stop buying unhealthy snacks

If you do buy unhealthy snacks such as chocolate, cookies and crisps, then make sure they’re hidden away and only give them to children as a treat, not as a regular snack. Instead, set out healthier snacks for your children to nibble on such as fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy. For example, you could have a fruit bowl on your family coffee table instead of a multipack of sweets, and you could bring your children some raw vegetables with a dip instead of a grilled cheese sandwich for a snack. The earlier to teach your children to eat healthier, the less reliant they will be on junk food and snacks.

Don't call foods bad

Don’t tell your child that there are good and bad foods. This is to prevent them from associating foods with good or bad labels. Instead, focus on labelling foods with their positive effects. For instance, tell them that the calcium from milk is great for building up strong bones that will help them grow taller and stronger. Let them know that oats and sugar-free cereals are perfect for helping them start the day, and tell them how an apple a day will keep help keep the dentist away.

Encourage them to eat at parties

It’s not uncommon for your child to binge on snacks, sugary drinks and unhealthy bites during parties or if you’re hosting a big family event. They might also request easier foods to eat, such as chicken nuggets instead of a leg of chicken that’s been grilled. Encourage your children to eat the healthier versions of foods when they are at parties or big events, and monitor them so they don’t binge on unhealthy foods while they’re under your watch. If you’re the one hosting the event, then try to avoid stockpiling anything unhealthy such as soda or sweets prior to the day of the event.



Get them involved in the kitchen

Teaching your children what goes into their food is a fantastic way to teach them how to eat healthily. Everyday Mom Ideas has plenty of fantastic ideas for kitchen appliances that are invaluable when you want to cook healthier meals with your children. Tell your children what goes into the food you cook and compare it to the alternatives from fast food places or junk food. Let them know how much healthier it is to eat homemade food and get them involved with cooking meals.

Don't reward children with unhealthy food

It’s common for parents to coerce their children into doing something with the allure of unhealthy snacks. For example, you might treat your children to pizza if they manage to ace a test, or if they listen to you and don’t misbehave then you’ll give them some sweets. However, this is a terrible idea because it associates good behaviour with sugary snacks. Instead, treat them with things that don’t involve food such as a new video game, extra screen time on their tablet or being able to stay up a little later.

Healthy habits start from you

One of the most important things to remember is that a healthy attitude relies on the parent as well. If you don’t focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then how can you ever hope to teach good habits to your children? Set a good example by eating healthy snacks and avoiding anything sugary or bad for you. Stop buying takeouts and cook instead, teach your children the value of good nutrition, and assist them in their lifestyle changes. The more work you put into your own health, the easier it will be to teach your children the same values.