As parents, it can be very difficult to get your kids to eat healthy snacks that we know are right for them. After all, our number one priority is to keep their developing bodies healthy. There’s nothing that can make us happier than seeing our children reap all the benefits of proper nutrition.
Helping Kids Make Healthy Snack Choices at an Early Age
The thing about helping your kids be naturally inclined to choosing healthful snack options is that it should start at a very early age. It is true that the nutritional decisions that our little ones make can be carried into adulthood.
Kids who are used to unhealthy desserts like chocolates and ice cream will find it hard to let them go without the right guidance from their parents. It won’t be long until your child becomes at risk for obesity and diabetes.
If you’re dealing with a picky eater, we’ve prepared some great pieces of advice for you. Read on.
Healthy Foods Should Be Readily Available
One way to condition kids to accept healthier snacks is to make them available at all times. Palatable options you can try include rainbow fruit kebabs, fruit and yogurt snacks, and fruit-based desserts with as little sugar as possible. Remember to leave out unhealthy soda and chips. Ideally, your child should only choose between nutritious options.
Provide Praise with Healthy Foods
Reinforce positive food choices in your child by offering praise. This will help boost his or her self-esteem. As a result, he or she will be encouraged to repeat the same behavior all over again. For example, if your kid picks a bowl of cereal with fruit over a chocolate bar, comment on the good behavior immediately. Focus on the process.
Be an Ideal Role Model
Since children see parents everyday, they tend to imitate their food habits. If you want your child to prioritize fruit and vegetable snacks, you need to show him or her that you are naturally inclined to a healthier diet. Make sure that your toddler or grade-schooler sees you munch on an apple. If you’re a picky eater yourself, start retraining your taste buds.
Allow Your Kid Take an Active Part
Whether you go grocery shopping to pick natural snacks or prepare them at home, it’s important to enlist your child’s participation. Give your kid the freedom to be part of the healthy process. Allow him or her to grab his or her choice of fruit at the grocery and peel it. However, be there to supervise so you can keep your child safe.
Let Them Learn Instead of Reprimanding
Scolding your kid each time he or she makes an unhealthy choice does more harm than good. Never associate food with punishment. Instead, find opportunities where he or she can appreciate the value of a nutritious diet by explaining a real-life example. For instance, if another child gets stomach ache after eating too much ice cream, let your child understand the reason behind it.
Start Small and Be Patient
Every effort towards helping kids adopt a healthier snacking habit is a form of progress. Never beat yourself up just because your child has shown resistance during your first few attempts. Even adults make mistakes with their diet. Imposing restrictions only makes bad food more attractive. Start small, remain consistent, and be patient with the results.