As a parent, I’m sure you know how tough it can be to control your kids. We all want what’s best for our little treasures, but often they have other ideas! One of the biggest concerns for any parent is making sure their kids are eating healthily. This task can feel extremely tough, so here are some tips I hope you find useful.
First off, try to set a good example. It’s been shown that children model a lot of their habits (both good and bad) on their parents. You probably do a pretty good job at maintaining your own health. However, you still might be exposing your kids to instances of bad behaviour. I understand how hard it can be, but try to cut out desserts and snacks in front of your kids. You only have to wait until bed time and then you can crack out the ice cream! If you know you’ve got a pretty poor eating regime in general, then this is where you need to start. This article might help. It deals with weaning yourself onto healthier foods as an adult.
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Next, try to avoid bribery. You might know other parents who say this has worked wonders. Offering up an unhealthy reward can be effective for getting your kids to eat their greens, true. However, this can foster a negative association with healthy foods. The idea is to have your kids eating healthier because they want to, not because it’s a means to an end. If you find you need to apply bribery in their early years, then try to keep their treats as healthy as possible. Dried apricots and mango slices seem to go down well with most children. Aside from that, you could try rewards which have no health effects whatsoever. Tell your child that if they eat all their veggies for the week, you’ll get them a toy or a movie they want. Perhaps you could set longer-term goals and offer up a fun day out.
Finally, don’t try and change your kids’ eating habits too suddenly. Most kids, in my experience, are very hostile to unfamiliar foods. To get around this problem, I recommend taking smaller steps towards your overall goal. Instead of black tea with sugar, wean them onto jasmine or green tea with sweetener. Look at Kiss Me Organics for more inspiration in this area. Instead of greasy oven chips, introduce your kids to roasted sweet potato chips. If you give this a try and it causes tantrums, you might want to be a little subtler. You could try reducing their portion sizes for unhealthy food bit by bit. Just make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need!
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Try these suggestions out in your household. I’m not promising anything; some children are more difficult than others! Stay persistent, and sooner or later your kids will go along with their healthier diets. You know your kids better than I do; use it to your advantage. It won’t take long to work out what works and what doesn’t.