Changing the way you eat takes a lot of motivation and persistence, but once those new behaviors become a habit, your body will reap the rewards. The road to learning a fresh way to eat for healthy weight-loss can be that much more challenging when you have kids. This is especially difficult when the kids have become accustomed to eating foods that are not the best for them. There are a few ways to navigate through these changes, so you and your family can function at the optimal level of health.
Prepare Only One Meal: Making more than one meal for dinner will send the message that the healthy food you are eating is not tasty enough for everyone and that puts healthy weight-loss in a negative light. Appeasing your children’s palate may send the message that nutritious foods do not taste good and that taking care of their bodies is not important. Your kids watch what you say and what you do, so this is a chance to model healthy behavior.
Make Dinner Time a Daily Event: In addition to preparing one meal option for dinner, eating together as often as possible also sends a message. Eating as a unit makes meal times about more than just eating. If you have a picky eater on your hands, challenge them to eat one bite of everything on their plate. Encourage them to try more of the healthy foods that they do like.
Say Goodbye to the Clean Your Plate Method: It is important that young kids develop healthy behaviors toward food. Food is for nourishment – to give energy for productivity and to help your body function at peak performance. If your kids are done eating, and there is still food left, do not make them clean their plates. Cleaning the plate is an old-school method that is probably responsible for some of the unhealthy attitudes people have towards food today.
Cook with Your Kids: Bring your kids into the kitchen with you. Allow them to help prep meals, snacks, and “brown bag” lunches. Include healthy ingredients that they love. Consider letting them help you meal prep as well. For younger kids, involvement can be as simple as pushing the pulse button on a blender. Involving them in the kitchen will give them more incentive to eat. Chances are, they will eat whatever they helped prepare. You also want them to feel like they are a part of the healthy weight-loss journey with you.
Create Healthy Meals that are Appealing to Kids: Put some color into your diet plan. Kids are no different from us when it comes to eating. If it looks good and smells good, then we are excited to give it a try. Feature some of your kid’s favorite healthy foods in meals on a regular basis. Do not forget to introduce them to new foods full of health benefits, too!
While you are changing your eating habits, your kids are watching. The attitude you have towards eating healthy will affect them. In turn, your healthy habits will help them develop healthy habits as well.