Educating your children about healthy eating is essential. However, it can be challenging to know where to get started. You need to be able to explain the importance of nutrition in a way that is easy to understand.
While discussing and lecturing is an excellent place to begin, sometimes it’s better to offer a more hands-on approach. This encourages them to make healthy choices and learn more about what goes into their bodies.
In this article, we are going to talk about ten ways to teach your children about healthy eating.
Want to learn more? Then keep on reading!
Go food shopping.
Surprisingly one of the easiest and most effective ways to educate your children about good foods is by taking them grocery shopping. As they explore the different isles, they will develop a better understanding of the food groups and where things come from.
It also helps them to become part of your household meal planning. They may be able to choose what they would like for dinner one night of the week and help pick out what they want to be packed for their school lunches.
Cooking is an excellent activity for children as it can teach them so many different lessons. Alongside learning about food, they can develop fine motor skills, improve math ability and read recipes.
You don’t have to ignore baking either. It’s possible to make healthy and delicious treats using monk fruit and other sugar substitutes. It’s all about being creative.
Discuss at dinner time.
While you don’t want every single meal to turn into a discussion about healthy eating, dinner table talk is a great place to start if you’re unsure of where to begin. You might be able to ask questions about what is on their plate and why it is good for their bodies.
By determining what they already know, you can start encouraging conversation and establish a positive relationship between eating and wellbeing.
Allow treats in moderation.
You may try and teach your children that sweets are bad, but it’s important that they learn that they are ok in small amounts. Instead of removing them completely, explain that eating too many of them will make them feel unwell.
Talking about moderation helps them to understand that some food items can only be enjoyed on occasion. It’s also a good idea to limit them to two or three times a week to prevent sugar cravings.
Talk about portioning.
Another vital aspect to teach about healthy eating is portion control. Often, it’s not about what you are eating, but how much you are eating of it.
Packaged foods should have serving sizes on the boxes, so encourage them to check this when they next reach for a snack. Just remember that what is recommended will vary depending on your child’s age. For example, a child between the ages of 4-8 should have the following each day.
– 1.5 cups of vegetables
– 1.5 cups of fruits
– 5 ounces of grains
– 4 ounces of protein
– 2.5 cups of dairy
– 4 teaspoons of oils
Teach the rainbow.
You’ve probably heard of the term “to eat a rainbow” before. Well, the reason it’s such a popular lesson for kids is because it’s fun and interactive. It focuses on introducing different fruits and vegetables by showing the benefits of their colors.
By “eating a rainbow,” their bodies are getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to stay fit and healthy. You can even put a checklist on the fridge, and they can tick off the different colors they ate that day!
Learn how to read nutritional labels.
Above we talked about portioning, and as your child gets older, it’s also a good idea to teach them how to read nutritional labels on food products. This includes how much sugar, carbohydrates, protein, and salt is in each item.
A good activity is to lay out all of your groceries and have them determine the healthiest snacks by reading the different labels. It really will help them make conscious decisions later on in life.
Grow your own vegetables.
Alongside teaching your children about healthy and unhealthy foods, it’s also essential to educate them on where it comes from. One of the best ways to do this is by growing your own vegetable garden.
It’s relatively easy to get started, and it’s an excellent activity for the whole family to get involved in. Some of the best vegetables to start with include:
– Green beans
You can find more tips for gardening with children here.
Visit a farm.
If you don’t have the time or space to grow your own vegetables, the next best thing is to take your children to a visit a farm. This also encourages them to get out and about in the local community.
If you do your research, you may even be able to find some orchards that allow you to pick and take home some of the fruits. From berries and grapes to apples and pumpkins, you’re promoting healthy eating and enjoying a great family day out.
Be a role model.
Finally, and perhaps one of the most important ways to teach your children about healthy eating, is to be a role model. Your actions significantly impact how they will react to certain situations.
If you are eating well and taking care of your body, there is a good chance that your children will do the same. For instance, if you’re not eating your peas, they won’t either.
As you can see from the above, there are quite a few ways that you can educate your children. By following the advice, they will learn to establish a positive relationship with food.
If you find that your children aren’t eating correctly or are having trouble with their weight, make sure that you visit your local GP for more advice.