Children are the future, we need to love and care for them which means that we need to make sure that they are healthy, nourished and fit. So fill up their plates with veggies and whole foods! But it isn’t always that simple right?
Children can squirm at the thought of zucchini, but jump at the thought of sugary cereal – you have advertising to blame for that. But seriously, how can you get your children to eat healthy?
1. Get them involved
I know it’s not always possible, but try to avoid serving up a ton of greens to an unexpecting child. It probably won’t go down that well. Try to create a new, fun game that involves cooking and preparing yummy food that your child can be proud of.
When you treat your child like they have created an amazing, fine dining dish, they are more likely to eat it and feel like they accomplished something great.
2. Make healthy snacks fun snacks
It’s hard for the lonely carrot stick to compete with the sugary cereal bars that have cartoons of colourful animals, but you have to try. Make shapes with the food, cut it into hearts, add some smiley faces, combine ingredients to optimise flavour like peanut butter and apple slices.
3. Be a role model
This is so underestimated yet so important. You are the teacher, your child is the student. If you preach vegetables but snack on chocolate and chips, you are doing your child a disservice. Eat with them, enjoy the healthy food and show them that it’s the way to go.
Remember that children are visual beings, a child is more affected by what you do rather than what you say. They learn how to behave by seeing how their mothers and fathers behave and by following their example. I know parents aren’t perfect, it’s a difficult job. But if you really want your child to start eating healthy then you need to be aware of what you’re teaching them subconsciously through your actions.
4. Teach and explain, rather than demand
I’m pretty sure every human on the planet prefers to understand, rather than to be told. It’s true in nearly all situations and it’s the same for children. You don’t have to try to explain the physiological adaptations that certain nutrients have in the body, but it is a good idea to explain the importance of eating certain foods over others.
For example if you want your child to eat carrots, then explain how the vitamins in carrots help to improve your eyesight. Children are often intrigued by this concept and it makes them more interested in eating them.
5. Be smart about how you give your child healthy food
Let’s be honest, a bed of kale is not that appetising for anyone. The Beauty of Action product Slenderiiz Giving Greens Drink is a blend of super-fruits, sprouted seeds and veggies combined in a disguisable powder. If you make a smoothie with strawberries, banana and yogurt and add in a tablespoon of this, your child will not even be able to taste it but will be getting all the benefits.
It is so important to give your child a healthy diet. It will contribute to their brain functioning, growth, personality, physical performance and decide their risk for certain illnesses in the future like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Be smart about how you present a healthy diet to your child – make it fun, make it insightful and be a role model.