Every parent has the same battle at some point in their lives – getting your kids to eat healthy but not completely depriving them of the foods they love. It can be a challenge, yes, but it doesn’t mean you need a degree in diet and nutrition to make sure your kids are eating healthy. Here are some “Rules to live by” when it comes to making sure your kids are maintaining a healthy diet:
- Remember you are the supply line – you control the apron strings so to speak. This simply means that you are the one in charge of buying the food as well as when to serve it. Your kids will no doubt pester you for less healthy options but you will need to stand your ground on how much of those less healthy options are kept on hand at any given time. They will eat what’s in the cupboard or fridge.
- The clean plate club is over-rated. Let your children stop eating when they feel they’ve had enough. Most of us have grown up as card-carrying members of the clean plate club and as such may be battling with nutrition and healthy eating habits. Let your child have some say about their bodies – if they feel full let them be finished.
- Start your kids young. Their food preferences tend to develop early so make sure you are providing lots of choices for them. Even as babies they know what they like or don’t like. When offering new foods, offer a few bites if they truly don’t like it, don’t push.
- Don’t bribe with sweets. Goodies and desserts are fine on occasion but don’t use sweets or dessert as the main reason for eating a meal.
- Finally – be a role model. If your kids see you eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis they’re going to think it’s ok for them to do it as well. Choose healthy foods, have at least one meal all together at the table and do your best not to skip meals during the day.