Teaching your children good healthy eating habits can be a difficult task at times. It may seem utterly impossible when you’re not consistently practicing what you’re preaching. Let’s face it, children tend to mimic the behavior of their parents and this is especially true for young children. Statistics show that 1 out of every 3 children in the United States today is considered obese, with more than half of them living in households where every family member is significantly overweight. Plus being overweight increases your risk of a long list of life threatening health problems such as Heart Disease, Diabetes, Strokes, Heart Attacks and High blood Pressure. As you can see healthy eating habits are essential to a longer more productive life. So here is a list of ways this 228lb, five feet one inch mother and 350lb, six feet three inch tall father of one taught and are still teaching their 44lb six year old daughter to enjoy the foods that are good for you.
The best time to introduce a larger variety of fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet is when they are ready to eat solid foods. This is the starting point for them to begin verbalizing to you want they like and dislike. The first thing you want to start them out with is fruit because it’s sweet & pleasing to their small taste buds. Sliced bananas, kiwi, strawberries or thinly sliced watermelon w/o the rind are perfect at this stage. Secondly you want to introduce vegetables like baby carrots, green peas, asparagus, green beans & steamed broccoli stalks. These are some of the vegetables that are perfectly sized finger foods for tiny hands in addition to being great for dipping.
100% pure applesauce (which you can make yourself in a food processor with fresh apples), peanut butter, LOWFAT yogurt, cream cheese, or cottage cheese make wonderful dipping sauces for the vegetables if your child finds the taste of them to bitter. If they’re still fussy, eat the vegetables this way yourself every night at dinnertime. After a few days of seeing mommy and daddy eat the vegetables they will be more inclined to do the same. YOU MUST BE CONSISTANT WITH THIS STEP EVERYDAY.
Another great way to teach your child about healthy eating is to have them accompany you as your O.L.H. (official little helper) when you do the grocery shopping. Allowing them to do so makes them feel important and it also exposes them to the wide variety of food choices that are available to us. Walk them down each and every aisle so they can pick the fruits, vegetables, cereals and other food they want to try. You should also familiarize them with how to read the nutritional facts printed on the packages. This is one of the ways your child can begin to develop an understanding of which ingredients are good for the body and which are not so good. As well as how to eat in moderation.
If your child asks you for cookies, cakes, ice cream and things of that nature while you’re shopping DON’T DENY THEM TREATS! Let them pick out what they want and you pick out a healthier version and read the labels right there in the aisle to them and explain why they should choose your pick over their own. Your child will usually go along with what YOU pick since all they really want is something sweet anyway. This teaches them to make healthier food choices as they grow up. It also show’ s them that they can enjoy cookies, cakes and other sweets without all the calories, fat and sugar of some other brands. Especially those that are marketed to kids.
If you follow our tips we hope you have the same success we’ve had with our daughter.(FYI my husband and I have both joined a gym and are working on slimming down)
Thanks for reading!!!