7 Healthy Eating Habits to Apply with Children.
We all want our children to create and maintain healthy eating patterns throughout their lives. After all, the alarming number of teenagers and adults dealing with unhealthy relationships with food is telling us that we need to change the way we see and approach nutrition.
Healthy eating is often associated with the battle of gaining weight versus losing weight and how we can balance it all out. But we need to change that and start thinking of healthy eating as a combined set of strategies and pillars that will allow us to take advantage of the food we consume.
Eating from all food groups, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc, is just a part of the equation. These 7 healthy eating habits will allow you to create a more wholesome approach to nutrition and its importance to child development.
1- Eating at the same time every day.
Believe it or not, having consistency in the time we feed our children can have a great impact o their later behavior around nutrition. Different registered dietitians agreed on the importance of having a constant eating pattern in terms of meal time.
But why? The research shows that adults who do not keep a somehow regular schedule for their meals tend to take pooer food choices, going for options loaded with saturated fats and other and added sugars instead of more nutritionally rich foods.
Try to create a schedule for serving meals to your children. Whether healthy snacks or a whole meal, try maintaining this program for your children and other members of the family.
2- Explore all types of food.
This can be particularly difficult if our kid is one of those picky eaters. But if that is not your particular case, you may want to try exposing your children to a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and so on.
The main goal with this particular habit of being open to different types of foods is that our children can later have the knowledge to create their meal plans in a more wholesome way, including foods they like and others they know provide nutrients for them.
3- Do not skip meals.
Skip breakfast is becoming a more popular trend each passing day, and yet, we do not recommend applying this to our children. Even if they are not particularly hungry in the first day hours, the way to go is to provide some kind of nutrient first thing in the morning.
But not because breakfast is the most important meal of the deal but because it is the first time for our body to absorb nutrients. Think about it: our children are growing, and they need the energy to be efficient at school and other activities. Make sure to provide them that energy by not skipping breakfast or any other meal.
4- The balance in the force.
This one goes alongside habit number two. Healthy eating habits are difficult to create and maintain, but the job becomes way easier if we take a balanced approach instead of a prohibitory one.
Instead of saying things like “eat your fruits and veggies, or there is no dessert”, change the message to something that does not put one type of food as better than another. Everybody loves dessert, but veggies, well, not so much.
But saying things like that teach our children to think of food as a reward or punishment system rather than a way to obtain the energy they need to keep playing and having fun.
5- Involve your children in the cooking process.
As much as possible, of course. We know having the children in the kitchen can be, let us just say, complicated. But when children are involved in meal cooking time, they get to learn how to do certain things.
This gives them more control over their food choices later in life as well as they do not have to rely on fast food all the time to get their nutrients.
6- Mindful eating is the goal.
Stopping eating when you are full may seem obvious but many times we can’t stop eating as long as there is food in front of us. Even if we are about to burst! A good habit is to stop eating when we feel full. Knowing when we are full is easier if we eat slowly.
Teach your children to listen to their bodies and not force them to eat after they feel satisfied just because there is still food on the table.
7- Pair everything with regular activity.
Being physically active is a key component of a more healthy lifestyle.
Try to keep your children active. You can use sports, free play, playgrounds, and outdoor activities to achieve this goal.
Of course, Spimbey can give you a hand when talking about keeping our children active and having fun. Our modular playsets are the perfect match for a healthy lifestyle filled with nutritionally rich food.
Visit our webshop and explore the different options we have to transform your garden into a land of possibilities and fun.