7 Healthy Eating Habits For Kids
Creating healthy eating habits for kids is not always easy.
Parents often struggle in the first moments of their lives to turn away their children attention from regular culture and their friends influence.
But the backbone of a hale and hearty lifestyle starts with a healthy diet that is built gradually from birth until adulthood.
By setting up some simple guidelines, a special familiar environment takes place, and the right scenario for building up day by day healthy eating habits for kids becomes totally possible.
What Does Research Says?
Evidence suggests that what a mother eats or drinks during pregnancy impacts a child’s eating habits, states Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.
If a mother eats healthy and nourishing foods during pregnancy, the baby will be more likely to adopt natural and wholesome choices.
Another study states that a mother’s educational level influences the intake of unhealthy foods by children.
A mother who is aware of the health benefits of vitamins and minerals will indeed plan a wholesome diet for her child.
In contrast, an uneducated mother will allow her child to have cookies and sweets as the main course.
But, how do you raise children with a healthy lifestyle?
How do you ensure that your kids prefer fruits and vegetables rather than cakes and candies?
What varieties of food do you have to cook to retain your child’s weight?
Here, we will discuss some essential tips and tricks that will help you inspire your children to eat healthier and make the right choices, even when you’re not around!
1. Be Your Child’s First Role Model
Parents always act as role models for their children. During the early years of life, the child only wishes to imitate them.
And in order to do it, they follow the track of their parents.
If you’re also a parent, remember this, you are your child’s first teacher. Your actions should speak louder than words!
Practically incorporate all the good habits into your life so you can set an example for your tiny ones.
Want to know some steps to rule healthy eating habits for kids? Here they are:
- Do monthly groceries and try to fill the fridge and pantry with fresh produce of all food groups and nutrients.
- Divide your pantry into sections, so your children will know from where to grab what they need.
- Make your plates colorful with assorted food choices such as vegetables, fruits, and plant-based proteins.
- Never let your children skip a meal!
- Encourage self-cooking. Let your little ones create their own magical plates.
By adopting these habits, your children will become aware of the goodness of healthy eating.
Thus, whenever they crave to eat, they will only have good options at hand.
They will develop the habit of choosing healthy snacks and have a positive attitude towards fresh and whole foodstuffs!
2. Cooking At Home Brings You Closer
Cooking at home not only helps your children to grow into better chefs, but it also brings your family closer.
This method is one of the simplest ways to make a child eat healthily while promoting the love and affection of their parents and siblings.
Prepping healthy snacks at home that looks good and taste good is quite fun with children.
Below are some delicious and healthy recipes that we love to cook with our children.
You can try these at home with your kids, and we guarantee you that they will love these snacks!
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is high in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds.
In study, the The World Healthiest Foods shows that 1 cup of broccoli (5.5oz or 156g) contains 0.18oz (5.15 grams) of fiber.
And in another study we find that the daily fiber adequate intake (AI) for children between 1 and 8 years old is from 0.67oz (19g) to 0.88oz (25g), correspondingly.
We conclude by this that 1 cup of broccoli contains between 20% to 27% of fiber required by children daily at this age range; lower the age, higher the percentage.
One of the fiber benefits is to keep the digestive tract functioning properly; it also promotes regular bowel movements, and your child is less likely to become constipated.
The same serving of broccoli provides about 100 milligrams of vitamin C, which fully satisfies your child’s requirement for the day.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and ward off infections.
To make these homemade tots, you’ll need;
- Fully cooked brown rice
- Fresh or frozen broccoli
- Salt and pepper
Prepare the rice and blanch, cut, and strain your broccoli.
Now mix all the ingredients in the food processor and make small portions (let your children shape these).
Coat them in breadcrumbs and bake in the oven until thoroughly done.
Health Benefits of Carrot:
Carrots are rich in minerals, such as iron and calcium, manganese, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B complex.
They are also high in fiber that increases satiety.
It also aids in improving vision, strengthens teeth and bones, enhances memory, and eliminates intestinal worms in children.
- Whole wheat flour
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
Grate carrots, soak them in boiling water, and then drain well. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and cook them until fully done.
Your kids will love these recipes while fulfilling their nutrient requirements without even knowing.
3. Let the Children Be Their Own Chef
Another way to make children more attracted to food is if they know how to cook.
Research at the University of Illinois shows that those children who cook by themselves have better dietary habits.
By cooking themselves, they will be more intrigued and fascinated by their own creation.
Don’t forget to appreciate them as this will help boost their morale and motivate them to cook frequently.
Buy some cute and stunning aprons and other kitchen gadgets and let them be their own chef!
As they get older and become more confident in their cooking skills, let them prepare their lunch for school or a snack.
4. Wipe Out The Habit Of Skipping Breakfast!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The first meal helps children to feel energized throughout the day.
A report from Medical News Bulletin states:
The children who don’t eat breakfast tended to rely more heavily on snacks that did not provide the adequate nutrition they need. The concern is also that poor eating habits early in life could lead to worse adult nutrition and potentially obesity and all the health risks that come with improper weight management.
This habit may not seem like a big deal, but it has some devastating effects on your child’s health.
Those children who skip breakfast get tired, irritable, and restless throughout the day.
Because, while commencing your day, you need to refuel your body with the right nutrients, and likewise for your child.
Make it a compulsion to have family breakfasts at the table.
When children have a routine of having breakfast with their family, they will automatically adapt to the habit of eating breakfast every day.
5. Organize Meals According To A Schedule
Children should be taught to eat at fixed times with the daily grind of sleeping, bathing, or playing in the park.
Whether at home, in kindergarten, with grandparents, during the week, or on weekends the practice should never be stopped.
Children have more physical activities than adults, so their meal plans can’t be similar to yours.
Three meals in a day are not enough for them as they use more energy in playing and running around.
The estimated caloric requirement for young children is approximately 1000-2000 kilocalories per day.
You should offer them small healthy snacks after every 3-4 hours, whether it is an apple or just a handful of nuts.
Specifically, a healthy lifestyle for your child starts with three meals:
a healthy breakfast, followed by an equally healthy lunch and dinner, two snacks, and plenty of fluids for proper hydration.
A child is fed adequately, he/she will not be anxious, tired, or hyperactive.
6. Add Colors On The Plate
Adding colors to your child’s plate will make it more delightful and attractive — the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies give color to your dull and lifeless plates.
Using a healthy eating plate will help your child to maintain a healthy living.
You can add colorful veggies and fruits with proper portions.
You can also check out some easy and fun fruits and vegetable cutting videos from 5-Minute Crafts GIRLY to add a bling to your child’s plate.
7. Minimize Drinks During Meals
Even if your child does not consume artificial drinks, liquids like water or juice can cause a feeling of satiety.
This makes them eat less than they need during the main course.
Try minimizing drinks at the table and promote drinking water throughout the day.
The Final Take
These are some extremely useful and efficient ways to help your children be motivated to eat and enjoy nutritious food.
Watching your children grow healthy and full of energy is a rewarding experience.
If they grow up into become adults with clean eating habits, and more into a nutritious diet, you can surely be proud of your nurturing.
Congrats, because this nutritional foundation will help your children for the rest of their lives!
- Dewar, G. (2018) Prenatal learning: Do “pregnancy foods” affect babies’ eating habits? https://www.parentingscience.com/prenatal-learning-about-food.html
- Van Ansem, W. J. C., Schrijvers, C. T. M., Rodenburg, G. and van de Mheen, D. (2014) Maternal educational level and children’s healthy eating behaviour: Role of the home food environment (cross-sectional results from the INPACT study). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol.11 Article 113.
- The George Mateljan Foundation (2020) Broccoli. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9
- Kranz, S., Brauchla, M., Slavin, J. L. and Miller, K. B. (2012) What do we know about dietary fiber intake on constipation, obesity, and diabetes in children. Advances in Nutrition, vol.3(1) pp. 47–53.
- Henry, S. (2019) Study provides more evidence that kids who cook have healthier dietary habits. https://aces.illinois.edu/news/study-provides-more-evidence-kids-who-cook-have-healthier-dietary-habits
- Medical News Bulletin (2020) How is Skipping Breakfast Affecting Your Kids? https://medicalnewsbulletin.com/skipping-breakfast-affecting-kids/
- We Can (2021) Parent tips – Calories Needed Each Day. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/calreqtips.pdf
- 5-Minutes Crafts GIRLY (2018) 20 Beautiful and Simple Food Carving Tricks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwzU0EZtBkU