How to create healthy eating habits and teach your children to consume organic products?
We are all creatures of habit, and the routines that we adopt at an early age define our life choices as well as our way of life. Many people put a lot of effort into changing their bad habits at some point in life, usually because they face consequences of the previous unhealthy lifestyle. At that point, they are already dealing with some chronic health issues, or they are at high risk of getting one. Quality of our children lives greatly depend on their health, and the most important way to ensure that we raise happy and healthy kids is to focus on their nutrition as well as to create healthy eating habits early on. If you wish to raise your child to become a responsible adult, mindful of what he or she eats, read on for some useful advice.
Start with yourself
Throughout their life, children will have many role models, but keep in mind that people they look up to most are their parents. It is your responsibility to become the one who will lead with example, so don’t be surprised if your kid refuses to eat broccoli while you are devouring candy bars. Although it is hard to change your habits, start slowly and be consistent. Remember that most times kids will not do as we say, but will do as we do instead. Know that by changing your ways, you are creating a path on which your kids will follow you gladly.
Purge your home of unhealthy food
Our life pace does not allow us to spend more time cooking and experimenting with healthy ingredients, so more often than not we turn to quick and easy options. Each home has a stash of precooked meals or junk food that saves time but takes its toll on the health of our family. Get rid of junk from your kitchen and your bodies and replace them with healthier alternatives. By creating a safe and healthy environment, you will be able to control the nutritional intake of your loved ones as well as to make them enjoy fresh and healthy ingredients.
Teach your kids about good food on your table
Given the fact of how much we are disconnected from the food production process, our kids may think that fruits and veggies grow in supermarkets. Explain to them where does the food come from and describe its long journey to our plates. Make sure to speak positively about food that they eat, telling them why is it good for us. For instance, mention important vitamins when eating fruit, or calcium when having a glass of milk. It will make them feel good knowing the benefits of a healthy snack, as it will encourage them to continue having healthy choices in the future.
Teach them to appreciate organic
Assuming they are old enough to understand, explain to them the difference between organic and conventional food. Highlight the benefits of organic ingredients not only for our overall health but for the environment. Children are noble and protective of things that they love, so teach them about our planet and many ways we can help to save it. Once they recognize a noble cause behind it, they will become more motivated to pursue healthy habits. In every child lies a little hero who wishes to save the world, and all you have to do is to point them in the right direction.
Involve kids in growing your food
If you have a backyard, turn it into a garden where you can spend time growing veggies. For that matter, keep in mind that there are plenty of low maintenance veggies that you can grow on a balcony, or at least plant some healthy herbs on your window sills. Kids love getting their hands dirty while looking after and harvesting food will make them more willing to try the food that they’ve produced.
Establish rules and create a routine
Make sure that the whole family eats together, at least once a day. Avoid making separate meals for kids and make one meal for all of you. Encourage team atmosphere and let your kids help you prepare food. Include new meal every week and make them try one bite. One bite isn’t much, and they even might like it. Make it a family tradition to celebrate each day with a healthy drink like fruit milkshake or organic True Protein smoothie in the afternoon, especially if you have kids who are involved in sports.
Make their food interesting
Kids are not crazy about vegetables, but no child can resist a heart-shaped potato or star-shaped carrot. Tell stories with the food on their plates and make paths with peas, beans or bean sprouts that lead to ancient green forests made of broccoli. Although this may seem like a lot of trouble, know that it will not last forever and that they will not go to college still playing basketball with Brussel sprouts in their plates. Associating playful mood and positive emotions with food at an early age will easily form healthy habits that will stay for life.
Read to them about good food
Do your best to raise a child that likes to read, and while you’re at it, make use of books about fruit and vegetables. Not only they will love their new green heroes, but it will prevent them from being part of a negative consensus among children that vegetables are yucky. Children are very susceptible to influences around them, so surround them with some educational and quality content.
Being a parent is the most important thing that you will ever do in your whole life. Parenting is challenging, while good parenting is hard. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor a good upbringing happens overnight. It is a process and continuous effort that you have to put in to raise a happy and healthy adult that will be able to take good care of him/herself one day. Be patient and persistent.