Every parent has a responsibility to care for their children’s health, but it can feel like an uphill challenge when the kids are craving sugar-filled snacks and other unhealthy foods. Thankfully, there are different steps you can take to improve their health. Here are 13 ways to help your family eat healthily.
1. Educate Your Family
Most young children do not know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. It is, therefore, a parent’s duty to teach them the benefits of healthy eating, such as a lower body weight, improved stamina and digestion, clearer skin, and better brain function. Also, educate children on the difference between good and bad fats, and why natural produce is better for a healthier body.
2. Lead by Example
If your children see you splurging on snacks, they will think it is okay for them to do the same. Encourage healthier eating habits in the home by leading by example. If they see Mom and Dad eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, they will want to follow in their footsteps.
3. Buy Healthier Products
If you want your children to eat healthily, you should aim to buy healthier products for the whole family to consume. Turn to Ketoned Bodies for healthier meats, as none of their products will come from grain-fed and factory-farmed animals, which are anything but clean and healthy. You can, therefore, enjoy meals safe in the knowledge you are consuming meats that are good for you.
4. Make Sure Everyone Eats Breakfast
Did you know that children who eat breakfast each morning reportedly perform better in school? That is because it will provide your kids with the fuel they need to work hard throughout the day. So, wake a little earlier each morning to provide your children with a wholesome, filling breakfast, such as whole grain toast, fruit, or oatmeal.
5. Skip the Unhealthy Snacks
If you want your children to not eat unhealthy snacks, you simply need to stop buying them. If they are not inside the home, then they can’t eat them. You should, however, stock up on plenty of healthy snacks, such as fruit, nuts, low-fat cheese and yogurt, celery sticks, and wholegrain crackers, which can help to keep their hunger at bay.
6. Fill Their Plate with Vegetables and Fruit
Children need to consume at least one serving of fruit and vegetables with every meal. So, try to sneak veggies into their meals, add fruit into their cereal, and encourage them to pick their own vegetables to eat with a dish. You can, therefore, rest assured they will be filling up on essential nutrients, which can create a healthier mind and body.
7. Make Healthy Substitutions
You don’t have to say goodbye to the dishes you like to adopt a healthier lifestyle. All you need to do is make healthy substitutions; for example, you can swap full-fat for skimmed milk, or can swap full-sugar sodas for a diet alternative. Little swaps can considerably transform both yours and your loved ones’ health, so always look for healthier alternatives when at the grocery store.
8. Give Your Children a Choice
Children don’t like their parents to make their decisions for them, especially when it comes to their food and drink. While you shouldn’t allow them to pick whatever they want in a store or kitchen, you can provide them with options, so they can make their own choices. So, involve your children in the meal planning process, encourage them to pick different fruit and vegetables, and allow them to help with meal preparation.
9. Never Use Food as a Reward
Many parents make the mistake of using food as a reward for a child’s good behavior, or to pick them up when they are upset or down. Unfortunately, this can lead to bad eating habits, such as emotional eating once they become adults, which can lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So, never use food as a reward to encourage your children to develop a healthier relationship with food.
10. Pack Your Kids’ School Lunches
While you can control what your children eats at home, you might find it more difficult to prevent them from eating unhealthy foods at school. If you want to stop your children from indulging in unhealthy meals at school, pack your child’s lunch each day, which should offer low-fat options, such as turkey and salad sandwiches, fresh fruit, and greek yogurt.
11. Monitor Your Child’s Water Consumption
Children are naturally energetic, so it’s easy for them to become dehydrated. For this reason, you should ensure they are drinking enough water throughout the day. Cracked, dry lips are often a sign of dehydration, while children who are drinking enough water will have softer lips. So, try to monitor their water consumption and look for signs of dehydration, such as fatigue.
12. Encourage Your Children to Eat Slowly
Do your children quickly eat their meals? Encourage them to slow down and appreciate the food they are eating. Eating slowly not only prevents choking hazards, but it reportedly takes the brain 20 minutes for a person’s brain to realize their stomach feels full. Eating quickly can, therefore, lead to overeating, poor digestion, and weight gain.
13. Treat Your Children
Children deserve a little treat at least once a week. So, allow them one day to eat something they like, such as ice cream, pizza, or another snack. That way they will spend six days out of seven eating healthily, so a snack at the end of the week will cause less damage to their health.
As you can see, there are multiple ways you can help your family adopt a healthier lifestyle. So, buy the right produce, skip unhealthy snacks, encourage children to make their own healthy food choices, and don’t forget to lead by example. Both you and your children will be healthier for doing so, and they will make better health decisions once they reach adulthood, as a result.