5 Tips for Helping Your Child Eat a Balanced Diet
Shop, prep, and cook healthy food together with your child or children. Mindful and intuitive eating will provide them with healthy eating habits. Read these five tips to help your child eat a balanced diet.
Lead by Example
The best kind of help you can offer your child is to lead by example. Show them how you care for your body. Communicate with them how certain foods make your body feel and why you make the food choices you do. Parents’ attitudes toward food can encourage healthy eating habits in kids. If you have made all attempts to provide your kid with a balanced diet and still fear for their health, then consider an endocrinologist’s help for your child. Not only will they look at daily habits but hormones in your child’s body as well.
Offer a Choice
You may have already tried to force foods on your child. It probably didn’t end well. So give your child some independence with their food, especially if they’re a bit older. When kids have autonomy and choose what they want to eat, they can become more in tune with their appetite. This will teach them intuitive and mindful eating. They might focus more on what food tastes like and how it makes them feel. Of course, you should still guide them by providing healthy options. You don’t want them to decide to eat only junk food.
Let Them Make Their Plate
Another way to help your child build independence and eat a balanced diet is to let them make their plate. Lay out healthy options for them to choose from. From there, let them decide how much they want of each healthy food. The hope is that they’ll be able to create a plate with various food groups to provide them with the nutrition they need. If they’re too young for this education, you can place healthy food on their plate but let them help scoop and serve the food.
Provide Healthy Snacks
You can cook healthy meals, but if snacks in the house aren’t nutritional, they may affect your children’s diet. If it’s close to dinnertime and your kids are hungry, then you can place a cutting board out with several different food groups to choose from. This can range from grapes and other fruits to whole-grain crackers and cheese. Nuts and celery sticks are also good options.
Include Them in Cooking
Let your child help cook. Not only will the process be educational, but it will be a great way to bond. They’ll be more likely to enjoy food when they help make it. If they see how a full meal comes together, then they may understand what is necessary for a healthy meal in the future. Food preparation can be daunting in the beginning. So set your child up for success by helping them learn to cook, even if it means a longer wait for a meal.
Find a balance between independence and education with your child. Invest the time and effort to teach them healthy eating habits, and use these five tips for helping your child eat a balanced diet. From there, you can watch your child grow up with a healthy body and mindset.
Photo – Alex Green