For parents and soon to be parents, picture yourself in this situation that pertains to children: “An ambulance rushing your child to the hospital because they suffered a heart attack or paying for medications because your child has developed type 2 diabetes.” These situations are very real because more and more children are spending their time in front on the TV or computer playing games or surfing the internet with little or no physical activity. This is a real concern for parents because our children our developing serious health issues. So, in order to prevent this from happening to your kids, develop a plan that includes healthy eating so that our children, when they grow up, can make healthy decisions on their own. In this article, I am going to present 10 healthy tips to get your children to start eating healthy:
1. When a child gets hungry, do not keep food away from them. Setting food restrictions on your children is a big no, no as this can develop eating disorders in the future. So, when your kids get hungry, feed them a fruit or vegetable to tide them over until the next meal.
2. Have a bowl that is filled with all sorts of fruits and vegetables that they will want to eat when they get home from school or some other activity.
3. Don’t get on the habit of labeling food. What I mean by this is do not tell your children that there are good and bad foods. Instead, try to come up with something that is creative and unique that ties in certain foods that relate to the types of activities your children are engaged in. For example, if you have a child that is involved in sports, let them know that food that is high in protein is really good for muscle building.
4. When your child makes a good healthy choice, give them lots of praises and positive re-enforcement.
5. Let’s say for this next tip, that you and your family are taking a drive through the city and one of your kids all of a sudden blurts, “There is McDonald’s!!!! or Can we eat at Burger Kings?” Just simply ignore their requests and tell them that you will fix dinner at home. You might get a lot of complaining and whining but once you get home, toss in the oven some potato sticks in the oven or if your kids want something sweet for dessert, get some fruit and simply cover it with chocolate. After all, chocolate is good for your brain.
6. If your child has done something that is good, do not reward them with food. The reason for this is because your monthly food bill will go up and it will also cause your child to over-eat.
7. Eat together as a family at dinner time. Nutritional research has shown that your children will eat healthy and will not get into trouble once they get into their teenage years.
8. Prepare the dinner plates in the kitchen. This will teach your children the correct dinner portions that they are supposed to get on their plates. Plus, this will also prevent over-eating because the pots will still be at the stove and not at the table.
9. Eating dinner is a family affair so let your children have some type of decision making power when it comes to eating veggies. For example, have them take a bite of each of their food on their plate and give it a grade. If they go after the veggies more, give it a high mark and serve more veggies to them.
10. If you are deciding to put your child on a diet or trying to have them gain weight, before sure to talk to your pediatrician so that they can give you valuable ideas to help you child get healthy. Never make fun of your child if they are fat or skinny as this will have a negative impact on your child.