Smart Kids Eat Better: How to Teach Your Kids Some Healthy Eating Lessons

Smart kids eat better and kids who eat well are likely to do well in school and beyond. The trick is to get kids to understand that it’s smarter to grab a bag of carrots than potato chips. But that’s difficult when salty carbs taste a lot better than fresh, organic vegetables. Therefore, parents need to exercise strategy and creativity when providing children with eating lessons.

Make Them Shopping Partners

Kids like having authority. You could tell them they need to eat healthily or you could tell them they’re responsible for choosing food for the family. “It’s a very important job” is a much smarter way to get them to think healthy versus commanding them to do something. Create a meal plan for the family and a grocery list, then head to the store as your kid’s assistant.

Show Them the Source

Did you know a significant percentage of kids aged five to seven think cheese comes from a plant?

It’s a cute error, but it’s important for kids to understand where food comes from. Take them to local farms, food plants, and places to see food being picked, processed, prepared, etc. That way, kids visualize the information and gain a better perspective. For example, they’ll begin to better understand labels like ‘organic,’ ‘natural,’ and ‘additives.’

Stock the Talk

Many parents are concerned about child health and obesity yet keep cupboards stocked with sugary snacks and calorie-filled foods. It’s confusing and counterproductive to hear one thing while seeing adults do something else. If sugary snacks are bad, why are they in the cupboard? Alternatively, tell a child grapes are a better snack than chips and lead by example.

Provide Direction on Drinks

Ask your child if a drink can get them fat. Many kids don’t associate drinks with calories or weight gain though many beverages are loaded with calories and sugar. Explain how consuming drinks has an effect on the body. Also, it’s a good opportunity to introduce healthy drinks such as carrot and tomato juice. Next, teach kids to look at labels and not to be fooled by marketing ploys.

Look at Labels

A drink or food could be labeled as “healthy” yet have high counts of trans fats or be packed with a lot of calories per serving. Teach kids to look at labels to understand what’s actually in a food choice as well as the impending effect it will have on the body. Likewise, teach kids healthy ways to cook and prepare foods. See a range of kitchen appliances at AJ Madison.

Limit But Don’t Deprive

It’s perfectly normal for kids to love pizza and even eat it every week. You don’t have to deprive kids of particular snacks. Alternatively, limit access to certain foods. For example, eat pizza on Friday nights and go out for burgers on Wednesdays yet elect for salads filled with vegetables a few days a week too. That’s a healthy and realistic balance.

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