These days, a lot of people are obese, even children. Bad eating habits are just one of the causes of obesity, but these habits start at a young age. Parents have to do what they can to stop poor eating habits in children so that they can stay healthy for the years to come. Unfortunately, getting a child to stop eating the sugar or fast food that they like isn’t the easiest thing ever. With that said, it’s not an impossible task either, so here are some tips for curbing bad eating habits in children.
Use discrete placement of healthy foods.
Plenty of foods these days come with hidden amounts of vegetables, fruits, and more. Okay, they aren’t hidden, but they are when it comes to telling children. Many children won’t eat something if they simply think something they don’t like is in there. Of course, products like V-8 come with multiple servings of vegetables but taste like fruit drinks. A simple smoothie tastes great and comes packed with fruits. Even spaghetti sauces come with two servings of vegetables. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to give their children healthy foods that the child will be willing to eat. They will enjoy these foods and want them more often. On top of that, parents can always sneak fruits and vegetables into the foods they cook.
Teach your child how to cook for themselves.
Children aren’t going to want as much sugar or fast food or whatever if they know how to cook for themselves. Even young children can cook without burning the house down. Therefore, parents should show their children how to cook basic dishes, such as breakfast foods or even a burger (on the stove – not the grill). Anything that can be cooked by heating it on the stove top is doable by a young child. Teaching your child to cook will pay off greatly because they will do so instead of eating sugary foods or wanting fast food. Of course, you must remind your child to always turn off the stove range.
Replace fast food with home cooked meals.
Your child might throw a tantrum at first, but parents should just start cooking at home more often. Eventually, children will become accustomed to eating home-cooked meals and prefer them over fast food. Parents usually don’t cook at home because they are either lazy or don’t have the time to, but both excuses are no excuse at all. Children deserve the time and care that it takes to prepare a healthy meal at home, so parents should get their cooking aprons on daily and make those meals! Obviously, a child that is fed healthy meals throughout each day is much more likely to stay healthy and avoid unhealthy foods.
Show your child the effects of poor health and unhealthy eating.
Of course, scare tactics do the job when it comes to bad eating habits. Show your children what people can look like or what can happen when they eat unhealthy foods (sugar, fast food, etc.) for years. Any child is going to be scared out of their mind and will probably cut back greatly on their unhealthy food consumption. Sure, it still might not get them to stomach vegetables, but it’s a good start. Children usually aren’t so unintelligent that they won’t be able to understand what poor health and unhealthy eating can do to their bodies.
Make unhealthy foods an irregular reward.
Parents can take away all sources of unhealthy food from their child’s life – to some degree. For instance, you can keep little snacks for your child in the cupboards because they are usually a mix of healthiness and unhealthiness. Cut regular fast food and sugar-packed items out of your child’s life though. Every so often, such as once per week, you can take your child to get fast food – whatever they want. This usually works best on a Friday because it’s the start of the weekend anyways. As for sugary stuff, you can give it to your child a few times per week. Any measure of cutting back on these foods is going to get your child healthier in the end.
Your child won’t regret it…later on.
Any child is undoubtedly going to fight their children when it comes to ending bad eating habits, such as high sugar consumption or regular fast food. Still, parents have to do what they can to help their child out for the future. Ensuring that your child is healthy for the years to come should be the goal of all parents. Sure, children can eat unhealthy foods a few times per week, but they shouldn’t make a habit of it. A child who eats fast food every day or munches down sugary stuff regularly is going to have an unhealthy future. Don’t let that happen to your child – curb those bad eating habits!
For more information, visit Healthy Eating for Children.