Instilling good eating habits in your children is an essential part of raising happy, healthy kids. Starting when they're young is important, but sometimes getting young children to eat their veggies can be a bit...difficult (to say the least!). However, using fun and engaging ways to interact with food and making meals fun will help your child develop a healthy relationship with eating. Here are some great ways to encourage healthy eating habits 1that will make the journey through childhood eating a bit easier!
From food shopping to cooking, one of the best ways to get your kids to love food is to get them involved. Not only does doing so give children a sense of control and accomplishment, but they're often more willing to try foods they've chosen and prepare themselves. Plus, you can see where your child's food preferences lie AND have the opportunity to teach them about nutrition sooner rather than later. along the way. Simply put, this is the easiest and one of the best ways to instill healthy eating habits in your child.
It's not just meals that are important to let your child help out with – you can’t forget the snacks! We ALL snack and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The issue often lies in what we choose to snack on. We suggest sitting down with your kids and plan out snack times in advance with their favorite healthy snacks like grapes or string cheese. Also make sure your children know “snack time” doesn't mean “junk food time.”
Make it a point to teach your children it's not just WHAT we eat, but HOW we eat which affects our overall health. Practice mindfulness at the dinner table by discouraging the use of technology at the table and instead encourage family sharing time & relaxing conversations. Designate areas of your home as “eating areas” (aka the dinner table or kitchen) to discourage behavior such as eating in front of the TV. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness and may lead to overeating. Mindfulness is an easy step to take with great dividends!
Be patient and positive. Keep this in mind: A child usually needs to be exposed to a new food 20 or 30 times before they accept it. That means smelling and touching food (without eating it) is just as important as actually eating it off the plate. It also means, don't push and practice patience. Let your child try new foods if and when they want. They will come around eventually, but you have to give it time and a valuable effort first and foremost!
Finally, one incredibly simple way to help your children make better food choices is…use Top Chef Meals for kids, OF COURSE!! That's right – all the Top Chef Meal taste and quality YOU love and enjoy is available in kid-friendly foods and smaller portions made specifically for kids! Meal include: Chicken Sticks w/Sweet & Sour Jam; Crunchy Fishcake w/Healthy Ketchup; Curly Straw Pasta w/Chunky Marinara; Mac & Cheese Balls; Mini Pizzas; and many more! Sides range from: Potato Tater Tots; Roasted Cauliflower; Steamed Broccoli; Steamed Carrots; Sweet Corn; Sweet Potato Sticks; and more. PLUS each kids' meal comes with a smoothie for extra fun, protein and nutrition! Flavors come in: Apple; Banana; Blueberry; Peach; Raspberry; & Strawberry; all kid-tested and kid-approved. Check out the full menu HERE!
Instilling lifelong healthy habits in your kids is important and we know any suggestions or helpful habits to educate children will benefit in the long run. Top Chef Meals has your back! So keep checking back for delicious and healthy meals and click here for more info on our food delivery services!