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How to Create Healthy Eating Habits for Children

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

Kid eating healthyRaising a family can be difficult, and it can be tricky to create healthy eating habits for children. Don’t worry though, because with a good plan and a little practice you can change the eating habits of your family and create healthy eating habits for children.

Set a Good Example

To start out, one of the most important elements to create healthy eating habits for children is to show them that you follow a healthy lifestyle yourself. Parents can’t set the example of constantly eating junk food and then expect their children to eat fruits and vegetables. Children want to be like their parents, and they follow the same attitudes and behaviors that their parents exhibit.

Instead of having junk food in the house, set your family up for success by having a good variety of healthy food options available. When you prepare a meal or have a snack, set a good example by eating foods with high amounts of nutrition. You can create healthy eating habits for children by feeding them the same foods that you are eating.

Educate Your Children

If you want to create healthy eating habits for children, it is important that you educate them about their food choices. As children get older, they will be in situations where it is necessary to make food choices without guidance from their parent. They will have better success with their food choices if they understand which types of food provide them with the nutrition that is needed to be healthy.

For example, include your children in the meal planning and preparation process by using MyPlate dietary guidelines. It is easier to create healthy eating habits for children when they understand what they are eating and why they are eating those types of foods. Explain to them the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Help them to understand why junk food is bad to consume, and what can happen if you eat junk food on a regular basis.

Reinforce Their Food Choices

When you see that you are beginning to create healthy eating habits for children, make sure to celebrate your success and compliment your child on the good choices that they are making. Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your child to continue making good food choices, so tell your children that you are proud of them.

Remember, that it takes time to make a change, and these habits will not change overnight. Make a few changes at a time, because your children may be resistant to the changes that are occurring. Be patient and continue to work to create healthy eating habits for children, and over time you will find that your family is becoming more healthy and happy.

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