Parents know that it is important to keep their children healthy. Is it really possible to compete with the attractiveness of fast food and junk food? How can children become more motivated to make the choice to eat healthier foods?
1. Have the kids decide. Children naturally want to be involved in making decisions, so why not include them in their own health? Instead of cooking a meal and setting it in front of the children, it should be common practice to ask what they would like to eat for that meal. They should be provided with a few options, especially since children’s imaginations, not to mention food-pairing ideas, really can run wild!
2. Involve those little hands. Children are born to make messes, so take advantage of their eagerness to help out in the kitchen. When part of the food preparation process, children feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that they have contributed to the health and well-being of the entire family. This is also a great bonding activity that can become common practice as they get older – what a perfect opportunity to begin sharing those famous, unwritten family recipes!
3. Sit down together. All too often, families get absorbed in the hustle of work, chores, and extra-curricular activities. Meals are eaten on the go, or skipped entirely. Sitting down as a family helps connect everyone and also helps improve grades in school – a win-win for the entire family!
Making nutrition a family affair teaches children the importance of knowing what is being put in their bodies, provides them with the tools to eat healthier, and presents an opportunity to become closer as a family unit.