How to Encourage Good Eating Habits in Your Kids January 24 2012

Good eating habits don't just miraculously develop in a child's life, they have to be shown the way by demonstration and repetition. As with most habits, it is very important that the proper eating guidelines are taught as early as possible, so that there is more chance they will be followed as the years go on. In this article, you will learn exactly how to encourage good eating habits in your kids, so that they can lead a more healthier lifestyle. 

Limit the Sweets

One of the worst things that you can do is to get your child used to eating sweets at an early age. This often leads to the child developing a sweet tooth as they get older, which can be very hard to overcome with just willpower. It is much better to limit the amount of sweets they can eat from an early age, and just save these kind of foods as treats for special occasions.

Serve Smaller Portions

Another way you can encourage good eating habits in your kids is to serve smaller portions at meal times. The key is to give them just enough food to fill them up, so that they are not hungry and leave the table satisfied. Serving larger portions can get kids into the habit of eating way more food than their body requires, which of course ends up leading to obesity.

Make Healthy Foods Fun

One of the main reasons why kids don't enjoy eating healthy foods is because they see them as dull and boring. You can overcome this by making foods such as fruits, salads and vegetables fun and exciting. Consider making tasty dips that vegetable pieces can be dipped into, or fruit smoothies which are easy to drink and taste great with a combination of flavours.

Gather 'Round the Kitchen Table

In order to get your child focused on what he or she is actually eating, then it is important to have them seated at somewhere like the kitchen table with the whole family. If you let your kids eat their meals while watching television or playing video games then it is very easy for them to “zone out” and not pay attention to what or how much they are eating.

Eliminate Unhealthy Snacks

Another way you can encourage healthy eating habits in your children is to avoid buying and giving out large quantities of unhealthy snacks such as candy bars and potato chips. This is not a good habit for them to get into, and it is much better to encourage them to try out healthy snacks if they get hungry in between meals. Again, the key is to make these healthy snacks fun and interesting, so they will want them on a regular basis.

Demonstrate Good Eating Habits

The best way to encourage healthy eating habits is by demonstration. If you don't follow a good diet then why should your child listen when you try to get them to eat a salad? If they saw you eating a big chocolate bar an hour earlier, then that is exactly what they are going to want as a snack, not some salad. Demonstration is a very powerful thing, and if your kids see you doing the right things then they will want to follow suit.

If you are looking for ways on how to encourage good eating habits in your kids, then it really isn't that hard. The key to all of this is consistency, as this is how habits are formed. If you consistently give them healthy snacks, then eventually they will begin to accept that as the norm, and not protest that they want something else.

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