5 Ways to Get Kids Involved in Healthy Nutrition03/10/2016
The goal at Rai Chiropractic is to help people achieve their overall health and wellness goals. We believe that the best way to do this is to be proactive in reducing the risk of pain and illness. Although we see many patients who are already suffering, we always tell our visitors that the best way to achieve health and wellness goals is by leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. And for our youngest patients, one of the most important aspects of a healthy life is implementing a healthy diet.
Many people believe that their children won’t eat certain foods because they simply “don’t like it” or are stubborn. But eating habits are learned behaviors – so if your children learn to eat well at home early, it will stick with them as they grow.
Here are 5 ways to get kids involved in healthy nutrition:
1. Let Them Shop with You
Taking your children grocery shopping can actually implement healthy eating habits. Instead of dictating everything they eat, give them options between healthy foods. Let them pick out which fruits or vegetables they want to have for dinner, or as a snack at school. By giving them the option of choosing between healthy foods, you’re recognizing their preferences whilst still maintaining control of their diet.
2. Make Prepping and Cooking Fun
Kids love to be helping hands. They like to feel mature and “grown-up” by participating in adult-like-tasks. This is a great opportunity for you to get some help in the kitchen, teach your kids about healthy nutrition and make cooking and eating fun. Allow them to tear up lettuce for the salad, let them mash potatoes, put their math skills to the test by measuring, or get them to help stir ingredients together. If you can ignore the few spills and messes that they’ll make in the process, and simply encourage the activity with positivity, then they’ll be proud to eat the food they helped prep and see the experience as a fun learning opportunity.
3. Make Healthy Food Available
Your children will eat whatever food is in sight or available. If you have sugary snacks or junk food sitting beside a bowl of fruit, there’s a good chance that your children will pick the “tastier” and less beneficial option. By eliminating the easily accessible junk food, and only keep healthy foods in sight, your children will often forget that other snacks are an option.
4. Praise Healthy Choices
As we mentioned before, eating habits are learned behaviors. If you praise your children for eating healthy, they’ll associate that act with positivity. Anytime your child tries healthy new foods or makes a wise food choice, make it known that you are proud of them for making the decision. Kids naturally want their parents’ approval and support, and showing them that healthy eating is something you support will encourage them to support it too.
5. Be a Good Role Model
And of course, the final and most influential way to get your kids involved in healthy nutrition is by being a good role model. Your children will learn from you just by watching your daily habits. By setting a good example, they will come to know that eating healthy and nutritious meals and snacks are the norm (as they should be!).
Putting your kids on the right path for healthy living is an essential part of their growth. By giving them the healthiest options, you are giving their bodies the best chance for proper development.
For more information about child care and health, or how chiropractic can help in their neuromuscular development, contact us here.