How to Help Your Kids Establish Healthy Eating Habits
Did you know that we are more likely to have healthy eating habits as an adult if we establish them as kids? It’s true!
The next question from any parent is obvious:
How do I teach my kids healthy habits?
AFC Urgent Care of Chattanooga is here to help with some rules for establishing healthy eating habits in your little ones – starting today! Let’s take a look at some ways you can help encourage your children to eat right.
First, make it a rule to buy healthy delicious foods the majority (80 to 90 percent) of the time, while allowing a little room for some family favorites such as popcorn, cookies and ice cream.
If you stock your home with healthy foods, you and your loved ones are more likely to grab a healthy snack or meal because the options only allow those types of foods to be chosen. Remember, you eat what is available. So stock your home with fresh fruits and veggies and other healthy foods.
If junk food is available, it will be chosen. But eliminate the chips and sugary desserts and an apple and some peanut butter look a lot more tempting!
Second, allow your children to be involved in the meal and snack planning. Not only at home but carry this over to the grocery store, too. Research has shown that kids are more likely to eat items and meals that they’ve played a role in choosing or preparing. Getting your kids involved will help to establish a healthy habits!
Play a game where each time you go grocery shopping you choose a different fruit or veggie you’ve never tried before. You can even search for recipes with your children that use that new ingredient. By allowing your children to have a say in what foods they are able to eat, they are more likely to eat the healthy snack or meal.
Start as young as possible when it comes to building healthy eating habits. If you begin when your children are small, they will have a higher chance of keeping these healthy habits, as they will be used to eating this way and won’t know anything different.
In addition, we are more able to adapt to certain situations like healthy eating better when we are young, before the poor habits begin to arise. Therefore, set your children up for success in healthy eating before they know any other way to be.
If your children view healthy eating as a punishment they will develop a negative view of healthy habits. Instead reinforce the good that comes with healthy eating.
Take Your Healthy Habits With You!
While healthy habits start at home, they don’t stop there! There is so much to do in the Chattanooga area, from parks and playgrounds to downtown fun at the Chattanooga Aquarium or walking bridge. The Scenic City is ripe with fun outdoor activities almost year round. Get out and enjoy some of the local scenery. Plan a trip to Rock City or Ruby Falls, ride the Incline, or just play a game of catch at Coolidge park. The possibilities are endless!
Just remember to pack those healthy habits with you!
Is your child hitting all the necessary milestones? Visit AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga today for a wellness exam to ensure your child is where he or she needs to be and to discuss a nutrition plan that best suits your family.