A good diet is incredibly important for growing children. It ensures that they’re not only able to grow, but that they also receive the fuel that they need to meet the challenges of growing up. While you can certainly make dining decisions for your children when they are very young, things become more complex as they get older. As such, it’s essential to start talking to your children about making healthy eating choices.
Starting Healthy Eating Habits as Children
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that healthy eating isn’t about how someone looks. Don’t bring up issues like weight with your child when you talk about eating healthy. Instead, focus on his or her health as it relates to how he or she eats. With younger children, it might be essential to talk about strong bones or a healthy heart. With older children, though, it might be best to talk about how they feel after they eat certain things.
Above all else, this process is about helping your child to understand that he or she will have to make choices. Don’t talk about completely eliminating desserts or going on diets; instead, talk to your child about how it’s important to practice moderation with certain kinds of treats. Helping your child to understand that eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the things he or she loves can be a great way to help make the lesson stick.
Don’t forget to involve your child in helping to make healthy meal choices. For example, let your child help the family’s shopping list and discuss why you choose certain items instead of others. If you can get your child involved with his or her own diet early on, he or she will find it much easier to eat healthy when he or she is out on his or her own. The groundwork you lay now can lead to a healthier future for your child.