You may have heard the expression “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime”. The same is true with health eating habits. By teaching your child healthy habits, in a fun way, from an early age, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
The first step in inspiring kids healthy eating habits, is to model good behavior yourself. This means making healthy food choices for yourself and using words and language about food that are inspiring and exciting.
These are some of our favorite healthy food choices that are easy to make as a family:
- Use whole grain pasta or brown rice
- Make half your plate fruits and veggies at most meals and snacks
- Choose low sugar beverage options such as water, milk, or diluted 100% fruit juice
These are some of our favorite phrases and words for inspiring healthy eating behaviors:
- Don’t yuck my yum- we may not all like the same things and that’s ok!
- As a grown up, don’t reject until you’ve tried it. Model openness and willingness to try.
- Explain why we eat certain foods- whole grains are good for our bellies and our brains, fruits and vegetables help our body stay healthy and heal cuts and scrapes, peanut butter, beans, and meat help our muscles get big and strong.
- When enjoying an egg-cellent bagel, exclaim how strong the cheesy eggs make you feel and how much energy the bagel is giving you.
- This easy stir fry for kids can help your little one feel super strong with a healthy belly because the quinoa does two jobs- give you strong muscles and has fiber which helps your belly stay healthy!
You can change the descriptions and get more detailed as your child grows. Remember every food does something and there are no bad foods.
Get kids in the kitchen
Whenever you’re choosing a kids meal or kids snack, involve your kiddo in the process. We know it’s not always possible but when you have a little bit of extra time (and patience) it can make a big impact. Kids are more likely to try foods they help choose or prepare. It can be as simple as having your child pick out a new fruit or vegetable for the whole family to try. If you're making banana bread, have little ones mash bananas while older children measure and mix.
Some simple healthy snack ideas that kids can help make:
- Frozen yogurt bark with berries or crushed cereal
- Peanut butter (or sun butter) sandwiches spread with a spoon or butter knife
- Washing vegetables (it’s also fun sensory play) before a grown up cuts them for snack
These yummy snack combinations are just some of many combinations of healthy foods for kids that can inspire a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
Plan for phases
Just like Elsa and Anna were your daughter’s favorites only to be replaced suddenly by another character, favorite foods and eating habits will change. It’s completely normal for kids to prefer sweet, salty, and snack foods. It’s completely normal for them to refuse eating certain foods (or food groups). Play it cool, keep offering a variety of foods in a no pressure way. Eventually they’ll come around. And when they are adults, making their own choices, they will have the healthy foundation you helped lay. That will help guide them in healthy eating behaviors for life.
Yumble is the children’s healthy meal planner that does the hard work for you. Being exposed to healthy foods that taste great is another piece of inspiring healthy behaviors. We deliver fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids’ meals right to your door. Pick a plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble takes care of the rest. No cooking required! Ready to save time & serve nutritious meals? Visit https://yumblekids.com/