Getting children into Healthy eating
Unhealthy food is a problem for today’s children. We all know that. But how do you get children into healthy eating?
Bombarded with ads as they are, they can really be hard to sway from their pro-junk food stance, but healthy food can make them a lot healthier and builds habits that can last a lifetime. So how do you do it?
Schools are often at work, teaching children about healthy eating. But keep an eye on your child’s school menu; some of the lunch options aren’t very healthy. Packing your child’s lunch yourself means you have more control over what they eat during the day and you can ensure they get healthy stuff in their stomachs. Many supermarkets sell pre-packaged fruit portions and vegetables like carrot sticks.
Another school-related pitfall is snack time. Many schools claim their snacks, which you pay for on a half-termly basis, are part of the healthy eating scheme. However, many of these still rely on biscuits as part, or all of the snack your child receives. Not only is this not ideal in terms of health, it won’t keep your children going as well as a piece of fruit and something rich in protein will. For that reason, you may want to consider packing your child’s snack, too. Again, pre-packaged portions of fruit and veg can help, as well as a healthy cracker or a cheese sandwich to help with the protein levels.
Having your children take part in the cooking is a great way to get them into eating healthy foods. Sainsbury’s provide free recipes for healthy, inexpensive meals, so your children can choose the recipe they would like to try as well as helping you to make it. Shopping will take on an extra dimension for them, too, so they won’t be whining about helping you roam the aisles. Older children can be given little jobs, like finding the spaghetti or grabbing the family’s usual loaf of bread.
If your children prefer a bigger challenge, you can ask them to help you plan and prepare a healthy dinner party. Without placing the emphasis on the healthy aspect, you can send them the message that healthy cooking is regular cooking, and help them build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.
For picky children, this can be the ideal way to get them to try new things, but if you haven’t the time to cook with your kids, keep offering healthy options alongside things you know they will eat. Studies show that children are more likely to try things they have been offered multiple times.
Getting more involved, and getting your children more involved in their own food will help you keep track of what they’re eating, and will help you get them into healthy food for life.