Healthy Eating Habits for Kids – 7 Ways to Incorporate Easily ~ What is the best way to adopt healthy eating habits for kids? Gradually. Sudden changes may be too much for your kids to handle. So when is the best time to start implementing healthy eating habits for kids? NOW. The time is now.
Our experience where change is involved is that you need to give them the “whats, whys, and wherefores”. This is how we have managed to turn our older child around. We probably didn’t seriously start training him on healthy eating habits till he was about 4 or 5 years old. And even at that young age, it was still a tad bit hard.
Some tips on starting to take on healthy eating habits for kids are:
1. Tell them that this is what ‘we’ are going to start doing now.
2. This is the way ‘we’ are going to start eating now.
3. These are the things ‘we’ are going to start eating less of.
4. These are the eating out places ‘we’ are going to start visiting less of.
5. This is why ‘we’ are going to be eating this new way.
6. This is what ‘you’ are going to benefit from this new lifestyle.
7. These are the ways of cooking ‘we’ going to do less of, or more of.
My son the other day told me he no longer likes coco-pops cereal. He used it to eat it every day till last year, from the time he started school. Or should I say, we used to feed him coco-pops every day. But last year, when my husband read about sugary and salty cereals in the papers, and some of the worst culprits that contain so much sugar and salt. He said “no more coco-pops”.
I was quite worried, as I am a little less abrupt in changes and I like slow, gradual change. This is because I feel that sudden changes in anything may not work well, and could end up causing despair or sad feelings.
Sure enough, my son kicked against it at first. Vehemently. He really complained. He was very sad. It broke my heart. He was 6 years old. But it was for the best. It was to pay off big time. It is now! Mothers, I guess you know how that feels.
Anyway, what we started to do at first was mix his coco-pops with other healthier cereals. So we started with 75% coco-pops, 25% of another healthier cereal. One day we would try a healthier cereal that contains seeds for the mixing, another day we would try one that contains nuts or raisins.
We gradually increased and balanced the mixing to 50%-50%, until a few weeks later he ate the healthier cereals without us having to mix them, and without complaints! In fact I can no longer picture the exact point at which he switched.
We are not perfect. No one is. But we have unbelievably shifted from where we first started in such a massive way. I am very happy for my little boy now, and boy, does it feels good. It feels so good I could sing right now.
And now, you won’t believe he doesn’t like coco-pops anymore! Some weeks ago, just out of the blue, he told me he no longer likes coco-pops. I was overjoyed, but still asked him why (just out of curiosity and mischief). He said “because it’s chocolatey and makes the milk turn brown”! Halleluyah.
Let’s face it. Healthy eating habits for kids can be hard to incorporate, especially if it requires changing from any unhealthy eating habits.
It’s normal. Change is usually not an easy thing. We as humans like our comfort zone. But with determination, planning, thinking out ideas, and focus, embracing healthy eating habits for kids can become simple and less stressful.
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