Here are some simple ways to help your children develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime:
Start your children’s day with a healthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast helps provide children with the nutrients and energy they need to reach their full potential at school and in extracurricular activities. According to the Surgeon General, eating breakfast may also play an important role in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Whole grain cereals, such as Instant Quaker Oatmeal, fruit or fruit juice, and low-fat dairy products make a nutritious and delicious breakfast for children.
Let your children shop for groceries and help prepare meals. Getting your children involved in these activities will allow you to teach your children about how to read food labels and healthy ways to prepare meals. Children are also more willing to eat foods that they picked out or helped prepare.
Keep healthy snacks on hand. Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand that will satisfy your children’s hunger and provide nutrition at the same time. Read the article for some terrific snack ideas your children will love!
Encourage your children to take their time while eating. Many adults and children tend to rush while they are eating because they are running late for work or school. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from your stomach that you are full, so eating meals more slowly can help prevent you and your children from overeating.
Sit down to meals together as a family as often as possible. There are many reasons why it is important for you and your family to sit down together for dinner. It gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together. You can also help ensure that they are eating a nutritious meal, which might otherwise be difficult to do if you aren’t eating together.
Avoid letting your children do other activities while they are eating. Try to keep your children from eating while doing activities such as watching television, talking on the telephone, or working on the computer. People tend to eat more food when they are distracted by other activities.
Set a good example for your children. Children learn by example, so it is essential that you set a good example for your children when it comes to making nutritious food choices. Let them see you eating healthfully and engaging in regular physical activity.