Do you know the best way to encourage kids to enjoy healthy food? It’s when they see their parents eat healthy too! Children learn most of what they know from observing what adults around them usually do and this includes food choices. That’s why it’s up to the parents to be good role models to their children and introduce the right habits, especially at an early age. To help encourage everyone in the family to develop a healthy relationship with food, here are some ways that you can try doing come mealtime.
Invite the kids to help prepare meals
Start their positive connection with food by letting them help in the kitchen. By exposing them to fruits, vegetables, and other healthy ingredients, kids can understand the nutritional values that these foods bring to the table. Letting them help with meal preparation encourages them to eat new and healthy dishes they wouldn’t otherwise try. Teaching kids how to cook makes them more inclined to make better food choices when they become adults, too.
Be creative in serving fruits and vegetables
Parents can get even the pickiest eaters to eat fruits and vegetables by being creative when it comes to cooking. Try making banana smoothies with kale or spinach. Bananas can mask the taste of vegetables, while milk and a little bit of honey can give the smoothie a sweeter flavor for kids to enjoy. Parents can also try adding cauliflower to fried rice or making burger patties mixed with chopped up carrots or squash. Experiment with different recipes and flavors to find out which dishes the family enjoys the most.
Eat home-cooked meals together as a family
Children who eat together with the rest of the family, away from the distraction of television and gadgets, are healthier and less likely to have eating disorders. With home-cooked meals, parents can know exactly which ingredients are in the dishes and can control portions better for everyone. Best of all, eating at home gives the entire family the time to talk to one another.
Make smart snacking choices
While snacking itself isn’t bad, the kinds of snacks people usually grab are those high in fats and calories. Parents can make smart snacking choices for everyone by buying less salty or sugar-laden food to keep at home. Keeping a stash of nutritious snacks on hand will make it easier for both kids and adults to eat better during snack time. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and ready-to-drink milk are ideal snacks that the whole family can enjoy.
Drink fortified milk regularly
Children need the vitamins and minerals found in milk to build strong and healthy bones. Milk isn’t just for kids, it’s good for adults too as it helps maintain normal blood pressures and even prevent osteoporosis. Parents can give the entire family extra protection with a glass of Nestlé® Fortified Milk, which is packed with added nutrients. It has Vitamins A and C for building immunity, Calcium for growth, Zinc for cognitive development, and B-Vitamins for energy-releasing nutrients. Nestlé® Fortified Milk is a deliciously creamy and nutritious drink that the whole family can enjoy during mealtimes.
Healthy eating habits are most likely to stay with children when they start learning it at a young age. This is a valuable lesson to teach kids because it gives them a better chance of growing into healthy and well-balanced adults. Making lifestyle changes may be challenging, but it’s easier and more fun when the entire family is on board.
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