Every parent wants to instill healthy eating habits in their child for a wholesome lifestyle foundation.
However, kids are exposed to the promotion of junk food every day. We also live in a world where convenience is the coveted option. With this combination, it is no wonder families have a tough time practicing healthy eating habits. A great way to introduce a well-balanced way of life for kids is to make it fun!
Consider these 5 ideas on how to make healthy eating fun for kids.
1. Involve kids in the process
Consider getting the kids involved in meal preparation. Start by involving them in the recipe selection. Then, have them pick out the list of ingredients you need at the grocery store. While cooking the meal, give them age appropriate cooking tasks. An older child may be able to complete the whole recipe with only supervision. A younger child will learn by watching their parents and modeling their actions. If this type of planning sounds daunting to you, check out resources like Raddish – a cooking club, culinary lesson, and mealtime solution for families all-in-one.
2. Use creative recipes to help your picky child eat
If you have a picky eater, there are ways to present meals to be more enticing. Whether it is making smiley faces, designs with fruits and vegetables, or cutting out shapes from sandwiches, explore ways to make it look more fun.
3. Make cultural food to tell a story
Teach your child about their ancestors and what types of foods they might have made. Incorporating dishes from other cultural backgrounds is another idea to consider. By researching recipes, kids can learn to appreciate other cultures. Whatever option you choose, encourage them to share their story and experience with others.
4. Watch cooking shows together
To combat the exposure to unhealthy food choices, redirect your child’s attention to a healthy cooking or baking show. A study from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that kids were 2.7 times more likely to make healthy food choices after watching a cooking show featuring healthy food compared to those who watched a cooking show that featured unhealthy food. In addition to the excitement of watching a show, the child is also seeing and hearing about healthy eating habits from a whole new source.
5. Teach your child how to grow vegetables
Grocery stores and restaurants are not the only sources of food. Why not show kids that growing vegetables or fruit is another option? Teaching gardening to kids is not only fun, but it also introduces them to science, reduces stress, and teaches patience, memory, and confidence.
Introducing healthy eating habits to your kids by making it fun is beneficial. If you ever have any questions about healthy eating and how it relates to preventive health for you and your child, ask your doctor. Remember, it is up to you as the parent to be the role model to shape your child for their healthy future. Have fun along the way!