Building healthy eating habits for kids can be challenging
Today’s guest post comes to us from Jennifer O’Neal of AllExerciseBikes.net, and she writes about healthy eating habits for kids. More specifically, she covers ways to build healthy eating habits for kids while at school.
I really enjoyed this read and I hope you do too. It is filled with so much great information you can use starting now.
How to teach healthy eating habits for kids at school
We all want to build healthy eating habits for kids in our society, especially our own children.
We prepare healthy and nutritious food on our kitchen table. We show them that eating fruits and vegetables can provide a lot of benefits. We think of creative ways to make healthy foods look fun and delicious when introducing healthy eating habits for kids. Since we believe that healthy eating habits for kids start at home, we do everything in our power to provide a lot of healthy food choices for them.
As much as we want to shelter our kids in the safety of our homes, they need to explore their world. School is a perfect environment for them to socialize with other kids and learn skills and knowledge needed in life.
It is also at school that they pick up habits from other kids, and some of them are not good ones.
How do you ensure healthy eating habits for kids at school and what foods they choose to eat?
Below are some tips that you can do as a parent to teach your kids healthy eating habits.
- Insist on good food choices at school
It’s hard to eat something healthy when you are presented with unhealthy food choices such as chocolates, candies, burgers, cakes and potato chips. It is a daunting and uphill challenge when it comes to healthy eating habits for kids at school.
The school cafeteria should provide healthy food choices. Take time to visit your kid’s school, particularly the cafeteria, to see if they serve nutritious food. If you think that they are not providing healthy food choices for your kids, talk to the school administrator or introduce this topic as a point of discussion during parent-teacher meetings.
You should be proactive in insisting that your child’s school provides wide array of healthy food choices when it comes to building and maintaining healthy eating habits for kids. When there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to choose from, your kid would develop good eating habits.
- Encourage children to eat slowly
Remember a time when you were reprimanded by your parents because you shoved too much food into your mouth and swallowed it as fast as you could?
Our parents taught us to eat slowly and chew our food carefully with every bite as one of the most crucial healthy eating habits for kids. We should pass this teaching on to our own kids.
Teaching kids to eat slowly is not only a social decorum but it is also beneficial in their health and eating habits. When food is chewed carefully, their risk of indigestion and stomach upset is relatively lowered. They will also appreciate the food more when they savor each bite. Having a deep appreciation of the different dimension of taste will help them in keeping healthy eating habits for kids.
- Encourage them to eat foods that reduce stress
School can bring too much stress to our little ones.
With the demands to perform in curricular activities such as testing and daily homework, as well as seeking to fit in socially, our kids can be stressed at a young age.
Help them fight stress by exposing them to foods that are known to reduce stress as one of the many healthy eating habits for kids.
Be sure to stock these nutritious foods in your kid’s lunch boxes:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Fermented foods such as yogurt
- Dark chocolate
- Seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
These foods are not only healthy and satisfying but they can also lower your kid’s stress level.
- Give them attractive water bottles to enjoy every sip
Let’s admit it. Having our kids drink plenty of water can be challenging. In fact, there is another guest post on Windy Pinwheel discussing this topic as a stand-alone article. That’s how important it is.
Sometimes you feel like begging your kids to take a sip or bribe them that if they gulp down the whole glass of water, you’ll buy them the latest model of a smart phone, a new set of Lego toys or even perhaps a new American Girl doll.
Instead of buying a smart phone or these other items, why don’t you try buying an attractive water bottle that they will enjoy and not feel embarassed about carrying with them?
Choose their favorite design and color. Having interesting water bottles can make every sip enjoyable and fun for children seeking to fit in with the "coolest" water bottle among all of their friends’ water bottles.
- Warn kids about drinking calories
You know that being healthy is important. You ride exercise bikes to help you stay fit. You also want your children to be conscious of their health and eating habits. As a parent, you can help lead your children in developing healthy eating habits for kids.
Aside from giving them healthy food choices, let your kids know the dangers of drinks that are high in calories. Sodas and juices are not healthy as they often contain too much sugar and are not much in the way of nutritional value.
- Encouraging packing a lunch with rewards
Gone are the days of packing a boring lunch.
Use your creativity to fill your kids’ lunch boxes with healthy foods that look fun and enticing as a way of building healthy eating habits for kids. Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of different colors so you can create a work of art. You can also cut them into small pieces and form fun shapes and designs.
Make a deal with your children that if they eat all of the food in their lunch boxes, a reward awaits them.
Teaching healthy eating habits for kids at school is not easy however it is not impossible either. With these effective tips, you can increase your confidence that you can raise your children into an individual that values healthy food choices and it all starts with building healthy eating habits for kids both at home and at school.