Parents are the ones who have the most important influence on a child. As a parent, you are the one to help your children set up the best start for their healthy eating habits. The formula is to offer a variety of foods from different groups so that your children get sufficient nutrients. However, it is not always easy to make kids enjoy a healthy diet. They need a healthy role model. Here are 10 tips for you to become one:
Set an example by yourself
Kids like to imitate. If your kids see you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, they will more likely to eat them, too.
Take your children to go shopping with you
You can use this opportunity to teach your children about nutrition. Allow them to decide what kind of vegetables they want in their meal and they will enjoy it more.
Make it fun
Healthy foods do not have to look boring. You can cut them into fun shapes with cookie cutters. It is also a good idea to let your children help to prepare the meal and name it whatever they like.
Stop taking meal orders
It is tempting to please your children with the kind of foods they like. However, planning a healthy meal is much more difficult if everyone eats a different dish.
Stop rewarding your children with sweets
You can let your children know you love them by kissing and hugging them. Do not praise them with sweets because it will make them think sweets are more precious than other foods.
Make mealtime warm and enjoyable
Turn off the TV and cellphones. Mealtime is for family. Try to talk to each other about happy things happened during the day.
Listen to your children
If your children are hungry, give them some healthy snacks. Give them options to choose. For example, you may ask your children if they like broccoli or spinach.
Encourage your children to stay active
You can let them watch TV, but only in a limited time. Maybe one or two episodes of the cartoon they love. Then the TV is off. They are supposed to play outside or moving around the house.
Just like how you set an example on eating habits, you can do that with physical activities, too. Plan some outside activities with your children. Walking, swimming or playing soccer, do whatever your children like.
If you want to introduce a new food into your children’s meal, you should try it first for them to see. Then, describe how it taste or smell. It is advisable to offer new food when your children are really hungry since they will be less selective. However, do not force your child to eat anything they hate because it will make them afraid of mealtime.
Being a healthy role model for your children is a challenging task. Fortunately, with enough effort and commitment, you will ace it. Try to be as patient as possible. Keep in mind that what you do now will benefit your children their whole life.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: September 29, 2016 | Last Modified: December 9, 2019
Be a Healthy Role Model for Children. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-be-a-healthy-role-model Assessed September 17, 2016