Nutrition

Top 12 Healthy Eating Habits for Kids, Parents Should Encourage

kids cookingIf a bad eating habit reigns, it could be very difficult to change especially when it has become a routine that brings about the feelings of comfortable. However, by keeping unhealthy foods out of the kitchen, and adding more health beneficial foods to your family's meals, it would be possible for you to encourage healthier eating habits for your children, even the pickiest ones.

Healthy Eating Habits For Kids - The Best Eating Tips Parents Should Encourage

Some of the most crucial aspects of healthy eating are cutting down on fats and keeping portions under control. Easy methods to reduce your children's fat consumption in their daily diet and keep healthy weight levels include serving:

  • Healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies
  • Skinless poultry
  • Low-fat or nonfat dairy products
  • Whole grain cereals and bread
  • Lean cuts of meats

Your children's health care provider could evaluate their growth and weight and allow you to know if your children need to gain or lose weight or if there is any dietary change needed.

By encouraging your kids to follow healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you could be able to support the kids in maintaining a normal growth and healthy weight. In addition, the eating habits a kid followed when he/she was young would aid him/her well in maintaining a healthy lifestyle when growing up.

The article today will show some useful tips to build healthy eating habits for kids that parents should know and encourage:

  1. Pay Attention To Ingredients And Portion Size

This is the first one on the list of the best healthy eating habits for kids that parents should know and encourage.

Limit foods that have trans-fat and read food labels carefully. In addition, ensure you will serve your children the proper portion as indicated on the labels.

The USDA said that parents should use smaller utensils, bowls, and plates for their children to eat with; and when they are old enough, you can allow them to serve themselves (for safety). You can start doing this when your kids are three to five years old, and start with letting your children take 1 serving of some non-hot foods like salad from a small bowl while holding the bowl for them.

This will make your children feel “like a young adult,” while allowing them to understand portion size and know how much they want to eat. Encourage your children to take 1 serving per time and just go back for seconds if your kids are still hungry.

  1. Having Balanced Meals Outside The Home

Try packing the lunch for your kids to include many types of healthy foods or find out more about your children's school lunch program. In addition, choose healthier foods for your kids when dining at any restaurant.

  1. Do Not Reward Or Punish The Kids With Foods

Withholding foods as a punishment can make your kids worry that they would not get enough foods to eat. For instance, telling the kids that if they eat all of their vegetables, they would get dessert will send the wrong message about veggies. Similarly, when food items, like sweets, are used as a reward, children might assume that these items are more valuable or better than other foods so they will try to eat sweets as many as they can when they have any chance. Another example, sending kids to bed without a dinner can lead them to worry that they would go hungry. As a consequence, your kids might try to eat whenever they have chance. This is actually one of the most worth-trying healthy eating habits for kids that parents should know and encourage the kids to practice.

  1. Encourage Kids To Drink More Water

Over intake of sodas and sweetened drinks can lead to the increased risks of obesity in children. Thus, instead of giving your kids these unhealthy drinks, you should encourage your children to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is also one of the good ways to get your kids in shape and prevent them from overweight.

  1. Avoid Eating Snacks Or Meals While Watching Television

Having meals while watching TV might make it hard to pay attention to the feeling of fullness, and this can even cause overeating as well. Thus, try to allow you kids to eat only in designated areas of your home, like the kitchen or the dining room.

  1. Plan For Snacks

You should make snacks as nutritious as you can, without depriving your children of occasional cookies or chips, especially at any social event like parties.

Continuous snacking can cause overeating, but a good plan for snacks at certain times during the day could be part of a healthy diet, without spoiling the appetite of your children at meal times. This is actually a good one on the list of healthy eating habits parents should encourage their children to practice every day.

  1. Allow The Kids To Help To Shop For Foods And Prepare Meals

These activities would give you hints about the food preferences of your kids, a chance to teach them about nutritional facts and demands, as well as promote your kids with the accomplishment feeling. Moreover, kids might be more willing to consume or try food items that they help to prepare.

  1. Eat Meals Together As A Family As Often As Possible

Try to make mealtimes pleasant with sharing and conversation, not for arguing or scolding. If your family's mealtime is unpleasant, the kids might try to eat as fast as they can to leave the table soon. They then might learn to associate stress with eating.

  1. Eat Slowly

When eating slowly, a child can detect fullness and hunger better than when eating fast. Before providing a second serving or helping, ask your children to wait fifteen minutes at least to see if your kids are still really hungry. This will give their brains time to register the feeling of full. In addition, this second helping should be much smaller than the initial one.

  1. Guide Food Options Of Your Family Rather Than Dictate Foods

Add several healthy foods to eat to your kitchen and fridge. This action will allow your kids to learn how they can make healthy options for foods. Leave the unhealthy options, such as juice, soda, and chips at the stores and supermarkets instead of bringing them to your home. Encourage your children to serve water with meals.

  1. Eat Smart At School

You should look over the school lunch options of your children. Many schools offer a printout of the lunch menu for each month. Go over the food options and meals for each day with your children, and challenge her or him to choose the healthiest choices.

That way, your children would be aware of all food choices they have to pick up from, and would have experience in making healthy decisions for foods.

As for snacks, make it clear to your kids that they can spend money on interesting nonfood items instead of buying soda or candy rather than giving them money to freely opt for food items in the vending machines at school. To encourage your children not to blow their pocket changes on salty or sugary food items, give them several healthy snacks to bring to school, like oranges or other healthy fruits.

  1. Eat More Fruits And Veggies For Dinner

When cooking meals for dinner, you should always ensure that your will add 1 healthy food that your child loves and will consume with the real excitement.

Limit the added amount of starch dishes to the meals, such as potatoes, but add more vegetables and fruits, to encourage them. Eating more fruits & vegetables also is one of the best ways to deal with health problems including overweight, constipation, and vitamin deficiencies.

The list above covers 12 wonderful healthy eating habits for kids that parents, especially moms should make use if they are concerning how to encourage healthy eating habits for kids every day. In fact, these habits are simple and proven beneficial for children health, so parents should remember and make use of them without concerning about the any harmful side effect or bad results. If you have any question about the content of the article, leave your comments and feedbacks in the comment section below.

Contributed by http://effectiveremedies.com/

A post by Hang Pham (34 Posts)

Hang Pham is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Hang Pham is an Vietnamese-American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on natural health and home remedies. She is contributing to EffectiveRemedies.com from 2012.

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