Tips for Creating Healthy Food Habits for Kids
As moms, I think we all know how important it is to teach kids healthy eating habits. We also know how insanely difficult that can be. There are ways to make it easier, however, and instill healthy food habits for kids that will last them the rest of their lives. Here are some tips for making that a reality. It’s all about the rainbow.
Disclaimer: This review was done by team member Emily. She was provided product in exchange for her honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are her own and were not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.
For far too long not only have been vegetables been pictured as green, bland, tasteless, and outright “gross”, but those stereotypes have been and are still being pushed onto kids regularly from a young age. Cartoons, child celebrities, and even adults all model this stereotype and it’s time to change that. Even jokes and songs seem to highlight the “fun” and idealistic image of sweets.
Did your kids get into the “Johnny, Johnny” song as mine did? My kids quickly figured out that it’s funny to sneak sweets and hide them. Lying about it was even a joke and permissible. Yay. When we start setting the example that vegetables and healthy eating can be fun, taste great, and help our bodies grow big and strong we can reverse this harmful message. This may require reframing our own views of vegetables as adults. The easiest way to think about it is being sure you eat a rainbow of colors.
It Starts with You
Your kids look to your first and foremost as an example. So, if you hate vegetables how can your kids learn to love them? I know I grew up with boring and bland vegetables and the same negative messages about them growing up ourselves. I HATED vegetables well into adulthood. It’s time to break out of that mold. We have to take the first steps and lead by example.
I started bt trying new healthy produce. If I didn’t like something, that was okay, but at least I tried it! You don’t know until you try and neither will your kids. How many times have you tried to persuade your kids to try something they think they won’t like by saying, “At least try it?” And when was the last time you showed them trying something new yourself?
You can even make it a fun wager or game. Make sure you get a good variety by having something from each color of the rainbow on your plate. It’s an easy way to a more balanced diet and makes mealtime more fun.
Make Healthy Food Habits for Kids a Fun Thing
There are so many ways to make eating healthy fun. Explore new things together, make a wager on who can eat more broccoli. And download HuePets. It is just one great way to do this. Kids love setting goals and earning rewards. Kids also love fun games on their phones and tablets.
HuePets combines the best of both. Kids get a fun game to raise their very own pet. They have to feed this pet, take care of it, and level it up and earn great rewards for it by scanning real-life colorful healthy food. My kids constantly ask for more healthy stuff as meals because they are trying to unlock the next fun hat or item to dress up their pet.
Sometimes they ask for red peppers or orange carrots specifically because they want to make their pet turn a special color. My kids are asking for healthy foods now. They are also learning that it’s best to have a variety of healthy things ina rainbow of colors. Because the app requires that the pet eats certain colors of foods!
Keep it Accessible
It is so easy to get lazy and leave the crackers and chips and sugary fruit snacks right on the counter. That way the kids can just grab a snack and go. Less hassle, right? I know that when junk is laying around, that’s what I turn to first when I want something to eat. This doesn’t mean I can’t have the occasional treat, but I find when I put the junk food up and away, and leave the washed grapes, carrots, and other fresh produce within easy reach on the refrigerator shelf, I turn to those much more often. So will the kids!
Does your child have their own favorite colors? Set aside a spot for each of them with healthy food in their favorite colors! That way they know it is just for them.
Make it Delicious
Another aspect of this is to keep learning about healthy eating habits accessible to kids. With home economics a thing of the past more often than not these days, kids of all ages lack kitchen skills. How many kids out there can operate the microwave? How many can roast veggies? Really, both are quite simple to do. Kids are much more capable than we typically give them credit for.
At 9-years-old my son has learned how to cut up produce safely, how to stay safety aware in the kitchen, and how to cook up basic things in pots and pans without burning them. My younger two can easily assist in mixing up the salad, adding ingredients, and stirring the pot of food. There is a job for everyone, and the kids LOVE eating something that they helped to make themselves.
When my kids help me make a meal now, they are very aware of what we are eating. I often hear, “But mom! This doesn’t have anything purple!” or “Can we add peppers to this? They are yummy and my pet likes them.”
Check out these healthy Powered by Mom recipes that the whole family absolutely loves!