As parents, we all want to ensure that we are raising healthy and happy children. Their wellbeing is the most important thing in the world to us and we want to encourage them to go forth into adulthood, fully prepared. One of the important things we can teach our children is how to be healthy eaters. This is because the habits we instill in our children from a young age, oftentimes follow them into their adult lives. Thankfully there are several tips for raising healthy eaters out there, that can help you to guide them in the right direction.
As parents, we don’t just want our kids to try new food items, but we want them to have a positive relationship with food. There is a fine line between guiding them towards a good, healthy relationship with food and pushing them towards unhealthy eating habits both through the foods they choose and the way they consume them.
If you want to raise healthy eaters going forward, you must also focus on creating a healthy relationship with mealtimes.
Tips for Raising Healthy Eaters
Structuring mealtimes is incredibly important when it comes to raising healthy eaters. Rather than grazing or having random snacks, have a designated time and area for your family to enjoy their food. Having a structured eating environment will help your children to not only regulate their intake of food but it will also help them to feel more secure about eating. This will reduce the likelihood that your children will develop unhealthy eating habits like skipping breakfast and overeating between meals.
Enjoy Meals Together
There are so many reasons that eating together as a family is important. Not only does it build the bond you feel with your family, but it helps to ensure that you children eat healthier together. Families that enjoy family mealtimes are more likely to eat a wider variety of foods and maintain healthier overall relationships with mealtimes.
Serve Meals Family Style
Rather than loading your little one’s plate with foods, serve meals in dishes and bowls on the tables. This will allow your kids to serve themselves. Not only does this give children the responsibility and power to choose what and how much they eat, but it builds their confidence with food.
Offer a Variety of Nutritious Food Items
It is important that you serve your family meals that include a wide variety of food groups. When you offer up a variety of the food groups you want your kids to eat, you will get to better know their preferences. When it comes to offering up fruits and vegetables, opt to have a few extras on the table that your children can choose from. This will allow them to choose something they like, rather than forcing them to eat something they do not.
When it comes to raising healthy eaters, it is important to introduce structure, enjoy meals together whenever possible, serve meals family-style and offer a wide variety of nutritious foods. After all, you want your children to learn to choose healthy eating on their own terms.