Are your kids eating healthy? Really…
Before you ask yourself this question or feel any guilt, remember it is not an easy task. Especially if you have multiple children, a busy lifestyle and of course the finicky eater or eaters.
So what do you do?
Here are ideas that might help:
MAKE HEALTHY FOODS ACCESSIBLE. Do you have a bowl of fruit on the counter ready for grab and go or is it tucked away in the special refrigerator drawer? Unhealthy food is specifically made to be extremely convenient. It is packaged just for kids and even displayed at their eye level in the grocery stores. Play their game and reverse the convenience. Even taking a few minutes to put celery sticks, carrots or grapes in bags easy for your child to grab and snack on can make a big difference.
KEEP A BETTER EYE ON THEIR PROTEIN INTAKE: Kids’ bodies are growing at an incredible fast rate and they need the proper amount of protein. Foods high in carbohydrates are high in sugar since carbs are sugars in certain aspects. Anytime you see your child eating chips or something high in carbs, add something with protein in the mix.
WATER IS ESSENTIAL: If you keep kids away from sugary drinks they will not crave them. Have water accessible 24/7. Diet drinks or drinks with artificial sweeteners are just as bad. Kids like gadgets and fancy cups. Let them pick out a few cool water cups at the store. You can even make it a competition in the family and see who drinks the most water.
GIVE THEM CHOICES, DON’T ASK QUESTIONS: If you ask your child what they want for dinner you will most likely get “I don’t know” or a request for something unhealthy. Instead, give them a choice. Would you like tacos tonight or cheeseburgers? Giving them a choice makes them feel like they have a say but you control the choices. Another option for those super organized, create a menu with their help on Saturday for the week.
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE: It is not uncommon when you see an unhealthy child, the parents are not being healthy either. Kids observe a lot more than adults give them credit for. If we are doing all the wrong things, then our child will most likely develop the same habits. Be the example!
When it comes to kids and healthy choices, make sure to surround them with as many positive role models as possible. The old saying ” It takes a village to raise a child,” has proven to be true in many cases.