Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: August 21, 2017 Comments: 0
With childhood obesity on the rise, raising a healthy eater can help lower the chances of your child having to face this issue as an adult. Encouraging your kids to eat wholesome food and build life-long healthy eating habits is essential for their long-term health. How can you encourage your kids to make smarter food choices? Here are some tips.
One way to educate your children about the nutritional benefits of different foods is to get them to read the ingredients on nutrition labels. Depending on their ages, you can show them how to compare food products to find healthier choices. One way of doing this is through their favourite cereals. Ask them to compare the nutrition labels of the cereals by looking at the fiber and sugar content. Educate them about how everyone should eat more fiber to stay healthy and the amount of sugar they take in should be limited.
Include them in the meal making process. Your kids can help you wash fruits and vegetables to add to any meal. You can even let them choose which meals they would like you to make. Let them look through healthy cooking magazines or even online for meals they think look tasty. They will be more willing to try new foods or healthier alternatives if they are given the opportunity to decide. Show and tell while grocery shopping is one way to encourage healthy eating habits amongst children. The grocery store or farmers’ markets can make an excellent nutrition classroom. You can teach your younger children the colours and names of various fruits and vegetables. When they become older, you can get them to assist you in the selection of fruits and vegetables.
You can even take this a step further and teach your children about vitamins. For example, oranges and strawberries contain vitamin C, which is good for fighting colds and can promote healthy skin. Most well nourished children do not need vitamin and mineral supplements, but if your child doesn’t drink milk, you may want to speak with your doctor about vitamin D supplementation, an important nutrient for growing bodies.
Another way to raise a healthy eater is to get them to explore new foods. Introduce new foods into their diet and explain to them how they can be healthier choices compared to the fast food varieties.
Including these simple tips into your life will encourage your children to explore healthy alternatives and ultimately make better food choices. So remember, if you want your children to be healthy eaters, you have to include them in the process and educate them about why it is important to make healthy food choices.
(1) Bouillon, Roger. 2017. Comparative analysis of nutritional guidelines for vitamin D. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 13, 466-479.
(2) Whitney, E, Rolfes, SR. (2005). Understanding nutrition. Belmond, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.