Healthy Eating for Kids + Tips
Did you know that what you eat can have an impact on your child’s overall health? It’s true, and what is good for them today can affect them for the rest of their lives. Healthy eating for kids means introducing them to real foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It means encouraging them to try new foods while also encouraging them to enjoy their favorite foods. And it means making sure they eat a nutritionally sound diet throughout their growing years so that when they enter adulthood, they’re as healthy as possible.
Here Are the Tips for Healthy Eating for Kids:
- Get the right portions.
Using smaller plates and bowls will cut down on how much your kids eat. Smaller plates mean less food. Also, try to eat your food slower so you feel fuller sooner. Eating healthy is important for people of all ages, and kids are no exception. In fact, for kids, healthy food really starts at home. And if you want to instill healthy eating practices in your children, the first step is to make sure they eat the right portions. This means serving your kids smaller portion sizes of healthy foods throughout the day.
- Make eating fun.
Kids are more likely to eat food they like. Serve food in visually appealing ways. Cut up veggies into shapes with cookie cutters. Playing games is a fun way for kids to eat healthy meals and snacks. Instead of just grabbing food as they go, encourage them to think about what’s on their plate and how it tastes. Also, try to build anticipation by letting your kids choose what’s for dinner.
- Serve a variety of foods.
Offer foods like leafy greens, whole-grain pasta, or lean beef, chicken, fish, and turkey. While many of us are aware of the importance of eating a variety of healthy foods, it can be difficult to instill this awareness in our children. One way to help your kids develop healthy eating habits is to serve a variety of healthy foods. In other words, don’t just serve the same foods over and over again or foods you’d normally eat yourself. Kids get bored easily, so while you may be accustomed to eating spaghetti with meatballs, your children may find it boring. Make it more interesting to serve spaghetti with marinara sauce, cheese, and meatballs, or spaghetti with marinara sauce, meatballs, and broccoli.
- Rotate foods.
Kids get bored easily. Switch up foods your kids eat every day. Rotate foods in the diet! Food is food, right? Wrong! In the world of nutrition, there are 5 basic food groups; some are higher in calories, some are higher in nutrients, and some are both. When it comes to nutrition for kids, you will want to include all of these categories in your diet. (Unlike adults, kids in the nutrition world are specifically instructed to ingest 5 food groups every day, not 6!) Think of these food groups as building blocks of a healthy diet, and rotate them in and out regularly.
- Offer healthy snacks.
Kids need to eat healthy snacks. While it’s easy to succumb to those frozen dinners or cold cereal options, make it a habit to offer your family healthy snack options. Fruits and veggies are healthy choices that can be enjoyed any time of day. Offer your kids fresh veggies and fruits as an afternoon snack. Some healthy snack ideas include carrots, apples, oranges, celery, grapes, baby carrots, broccoli, snap peas, snap beans, cucumbers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and grapes.
- Lead By Example.
Kids are natural imitators. They’ll want to eat as you do when you eat healthy food. Kids learn from their parents, and kids’ parents learn from their kids. That relationship goes both ways, so while it’s important to lead by example, at the same time, it’s just as important to teach kids about healthy eating.
- Make It A Priority.
Show your kids the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. Let them pick their own breakfast foods. Healthy eating for kids means making healthy eating a priority and giving kids a positive relationship with food and their bodies.
- Serve Favorite Foods.
Serve foods that kids like, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Start the day with a filling breakfast. Kids require more calories than any other meal throughout the day, so have breakfast be packed full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Have a healthy smoothie to help kick-start your day or a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Also, pack a healthy snack such as fruits and vegetables for school or after school.
Healthy eating for kids is easier than you might think. Not everything has to be complicated. Most kids enjoy eating fruit and vegetables, which are convenient to make at home. However, eating well does require some planning and preparation. Since it can be difficult to find time to teach your child about eating healthy, creating a healthy meal plan is helpful. Identifying what your kids eat can be difficult.