Instilling healthy eating habits for kids is not always easy, to say the least. Kids can be all over the place with their eating habits and likes & dislikes. They might eat you out of house and home one day and the next won’t eat anything you offer.
They might like bananas today and vehemently hate them the next or vice versa. It can literally be exhausting mentally & physically!
I thought these tips might be helpful to you and help you persevere and “endure to the end” Which really is the first tip.
5 Healthy Eating Habits for Kids
- Don’t give up! Kids need to be exposed to a food 10 – 20 times before they’ll even decide if they want to eat it and another 20 – 40 times before they decide if they like to or not. So keep trying, keep leading by example. Don’t force it and don’t try the same food every day for a month. Variety is the spice of life 😉
2. Involve them in the process as much as possible based on their skill level and your level of patience. Let them help meal plan or prep and cook. It is also important to teach them to sit at the table and enjoy a meal with people, even babies & toddlers. Kids can set the table at a surprisingly young age too.
3. Don’t fall into the trap of cooking five different meals to cater to everyone’s wants either. Prepare a meal with options like grilled chicken with a few side options of vegetables and fruits. Let them choose what they will eat out of what you’ve prepared and be okay if they choose to eat only one or two of the items available. Or even none at all. Other meals they will eat much more. You could also initiate a 3 no thank you bite rule that works well at our house. Basically, they have to take three bites of something before they can say no thank you.
4. Don’t make them clean their plates. This just leads to overeating. Let them take small, even tiny, portions and give them more if they want more.
5. Don’t forbid treats. This is an important one. How do you feel when you go on a diet and a food is forbidden? As soon as you can you binge on that food right? You know it’s true. Even if your child is overweight let them have a treat. You can either limit portion sizes or have healthier options like my Strawberry Avocado Ice Cream.
I know that sometimes, especially at the end of the day when it’s dinner time, it can be hard for us to want to put the effort in for ourselves let alone creating healthy eating habits for kids. Because I’m not going to lie it definitely takes an effort to teach these habits to our kids and to make better food choices for ourselves.
I know you can do it.
One small change at a time.Click To Tweet
Please don’t feel like you have to be perfect at it. If it’s easier for you just choose one of these habits and work only on it or you could also just choose one night a week to have your kids help with dinner or one night a week to try a new food or a new, healthier preparation of a food.
The rest will follow when you and your family are ready and as you get better at each new habit.
Have faith and don’t forget to give yourself some grace.
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