EATIng just got Fun!
Sometimes, kids could be the most picky eaters when it comes to healthy food. A massive junk food advertising usually appeals more rather than a basket of green vegetables and fresh fruits.
Healthy diet is originally an essential needs that can have a profound effect on children’s health, helping to stabilize their energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods. However, teaching a healthy diet might be challenging for some parents.
Here are several ideas to introduce a healthier eating habit to your kids:
Encourage healthier food options
Children tend to have their own preference for the foods they like the most. When it comes to fast food, it is typically have excessive oil, calories, unhealthy fat, sugar and low in nutrients. Yet, fast food is one of the biggest temptation for children, so rather than making a restrictions towards eating it - parents could try to encourage healthy eating habits by providing various healthier food options throughout children’s meals plan.
For example, parents could start to swap sugary breakfast with less sugar options. On the following weeks, parents could start to introduce yogurt, fruits, replace sugar with honey for the kids so they will have some time to adjust with the eating habit changes.
Educate the kids through grocery shopping
Ask your kids to accompany you while doing the grocery shopping. From here, parents can start to educate kids how to read the food labels and differentiate between natural and processed food. By showing the real example of types of food, children will have a broader ideas towards the overall diet rather than specific food.
Furthermore, there are other benefits of doing grocery shopping with your kids:
1. Learning Letters and Numbers.
Recognising symbols on food packaging is often one of our kid’s first pre-reading skills and there are so many opportunities to practice these skills when you go to the supermarket. Point out interesting signs and symbols, play eye spy and ask your child to find a picture, letter or number, write a shopping list together and have your child cross off the items as you collect them. Going shopping helps kids learn that words and numbers are useful and meaningful.
2. Learning about Money
Money is a tricky concept to teach kids without hands on experience. If our kids grow up seeing us buy things, handle money, use bank cards, etc they will more likely to have a better exposure and experience on which to build their knowledge about money.
3. Practicing Social Skills
Social interaction was the number one reason I braved the supermarket with my babies – I needed to see other adults! Our kids also benefit from seeing, meeting and interacting with a range of different people. It helps our kids learn that people come in all shapes, sizes, and colours and that they do all kinds of interesting things.
The supermarket is also a great place to experience and practice social skills such as waiting your turn, being respectful to others, speaking politely, asking for help, etc.
4. Learning about Advertising and Labelling
We want our kids to make healthy choices about the foods they consume, and to do that they need to be informed. They need to learn how to read a label and compare items. They need to understand that the word ‘sale’ doesn’t always mean it is a good deal. They need to learn that brands use words like ‘healthy’ or ‘99% fat free’ to entice you to buy, not necessarily because the item is good for you. They need to know what issues are important when buying items – are you looking for a locally grown item? Are you looking at how much salt is in something? Why are those things important to you? Small children learn these things by watching adults well before they actually understand themselves, and older children can play an active part in these discussions and decisions.