Teaching one’s child to eat healthy food may be the “holy grail of child care,” not only in Perth but in most civilised countries around the world. Many of the habits we learn as children last a lifetime; our diet is one of those habits. Sadly, in today’s world of fat and sugar-laden “choices” for both children and adults, it can be difficult to get children to enjoy healthy food, especially if their friends are eating unhealthy but delicious “food” on a regular basis.
Here are some tips for getting your children started on the road to health early.
Allow your child to participate in shopping for food, making shopping lists and even with preparing the food. A child who gets to choose has a vested interest in that food, even if it is healthy. If they get to help prepare the food, they will like it even more.
Take Them to a Farm or Dairy
Let children see where food comes from. Let them go to a farm and pick berries. Let them see a milk cow. An even better way is to let them help plant a small garden in your backyard. Melons and tomatoes, for example, are a great way to let children feel the pride of growing their own food. They don’t even have to know it’s healthy until they like it.
Stock Your Kitchen with Healthy Food
If your kitchen is full of cookies and candy, your children will want cookies and candy. But if it is filled with choices like fresh fruit or frozen yogurt, they will choose the healthy snacks. Also, make sure to have healthy snack alternatives in your car for bringing them home from soccer practice or school.
Give Them Choices
Make sure your children are allowed to choose what they want to eat. Of course, you must also make sure that every choice involves a healthy food. Choosing between a plethora of healthy food gives your child practice in making healthy choices: choices that can last a lifetime.
Be a Role Model
A recent study suggests that children will choose the same food as their parents, especially their mothers. Leading by example is superior to any other kind of leadership.
Choose wisely, mums.