Being a parent is rough, we have to teach our children so many life lessons that they simply may not be cooperative to learn and one of those fun parenting lessons to teach our children falls under knowing how to encourage healthy eating habits. This can be difficult if you have a picky eater, child with issues on textures and a teen who just feels they can eat whatever they wish. Life doesn’t have to be difficult though, you can learn how to encourage healthy eating habits at any age and today we will discuss some ways in which you can learn how to encourage healthy eating habits.
The easiest step in encouraging healthy eating habits starts with basic portion control. With a child, you can simply purchase plates that have the dividers in them for every meal. Print out the food pyramid and use that as a teaching tool for portion control. Find a coloring page of the food pyramid, print it out and color it with your children while you openly discuss what’s found on the food pyramid, this will guide your children’s thoughts on what are acceptable portions for food during the day.
If you have a child who over eats on cereal, you know they have to pour that cereal bowl flowing well beyond capacity, start to place zip lock sandwich bags out with each child’s name on it so they know this is the amount of cereal they are allowed to have. Finding creative ways, such as this zip lock bag idea, to encourage independence while still remaining the parent in charge can really encourage healthy eating habits for your kids as it will start to teach them basic portion control.
Control what you Purchase for Food
Another basic way to encourage healthy eating habits is to only have acceptable foods available in your home, such as fruits and healthier snack options that can still seem sugary fun for kids but really are healthier versions of the same sugary snack option on market. Create a grocery shopping list that stays within budget, but includes healthy meals and snack options so that your pantry is full of selections you will be proud your child is eating.
Start each day off with your child choosing which two snack items they will have during the day, have the child place their selections in a container and this will let them have a visual reminder of what they have allotted for snacks during the day. If your child makes the decision to eat both snack options in one sitting, then they won’t have any other options aside from meal time to eat during the day.
Keep a Balance between Junk and Health
Even parents have a little junk food here and there, so why should children not be allotted a little cheat day too? Try to maintain a good balance between portion sizes, healthier food in home and that cheat treat that is allowed ever so often. When you allow your child a little cheat snack here and there, they will not crave that junk food as often. Remember, it is human nature to crave what we can’t have and by allowing that cheat day for your child takes away that desire to crave what they can’t have.
Sure these options on ways to encourage healthy eating habits may cause a ruckus at first, but once you develop a consistent pattern of healthy eating habits it will become routine for your children. Encouraging healthy eating habits with your kids really comes down to having the balance of options with portion control and education; once you educate our child on portion control and balance of food options then you are one step ahead to raising well rounded, heathy little people. Your children will eventually forget what the original norm was and gladly continue on board with eating healthier which translates into a happier parent!