Helping your children eat healthy has it’s challenges. However, the return you get in their well being, attention, and sleep is well worth it! We want to set our kids up for success, and the best way to do that is to help them eat healthy. Plus, I’ll also share some areas where we need to improve.
1. Offer Them Healthy Choices First
By no means are we restrictive with our children’s food choices. However, we do make it a point to offer healthy choices first.
I’m thankful my kids like to eat a variety of foods, but I do invest a good amount of time making sure they have the chance to make healthy choices.
It wasn’t until my husband and I began introducing a more holistic approach to nutrition that I really scrutinized the ingredients listed on packaged “food.” Yikes. Now, I’m so much more cognizant of what is going into their little bodies.
2. Let them help in the kitchen
I have to admit, I can do so much better in this area. Yes, it’s faster and MUCH cleaner to do it on my own, but I want them to take ownership for their healthy choices.
My kids love to select their morning and afternoon shake flavors. They prepare them on their own too: scoop, ice, water, blend, and done. Perfectly balanced macro and micronutrient meal.
They come up with some pretty delicious combos. Other times, I have to guide them a bit! And, I feel so relieved that I am filling the nutritional gaps in their diet that our whole foods are missing these days.
3. Educate them so they can understand WHY we are fueling this way.
While we let our kiddos enjoy treats occasionally–well probably more than occasionally–we also try to use words like “strong, energy, and nutritious,” not words like “bad vs. good,” or “diet.”
We remind them that the food we choose helps us feel strong, or have energy to perform well in say, gymnastics, or focus for school.
We notice a marked difference in their behavior when they get dense nutrition in their bodies and adequate sleep. They are simply happier kiddos which helps all of us!
Areas to improve
There are several areas I still need to work on. One being using food as a reward. I’m guilty of giving them a snack just to keep them busy, so I can get something accomplished.
Snacks are fine! Now, I’m making a point to offer fresh fruit, veggies, or a protein bar first before resorting alternatives.
Another area to consider, is eating meals as a family. This is really rare for us. Not to make excuses, but my husband’s job keep him on the road or working long hours a majority of the year.
The times we do get to spend together as a family, we make a point of verbalizing how happy we are to be together. Seriously, the coach-wife life makes your grateful for the smallest moments.
How do you help your kids make healthy choices? Please share!