Your kids should eat healthily, though it’s sometimes easier to provide children with better options than forcing their hands. Your 17-year old might not want the same treats your 10-year old does, but there are certain snacks that kids of all ages are apt to enjoy. Be sure to keep educating them on the benefits of choosing healthy alternatives.
Provide Education for a Healthy Foundation
Kids respond well to knowing why they are being asked to do something. While many parents have decided to take the road of, because I said so, the better option is to help your children build reasoning skills that they can use on their own. Explaining why healthy foods and wellements gripe water makes sense for growing bodies is a solid basis for developing intelligent food choices. Tips for teaching your kids to include:
- Veggies have loads of vitamins and minerals
- Elderberry syrup for babies under 1 helps build immunity
- Fruits are packed with antioxidants
- Whole grains are better than processed for blood sugar
- Plant-based healthy proteins are easier for your body to process
- Fat can be beneficial just remember what kinds and how much
Allow Selection From Better Options
If you keep junk food in the house, you are likely to spend a lot of your time fighting a losing battle. Even adults are guilty of hitting the couch with a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream when willpower is low. Your kids see your choices and are likely to repeat the patterns you exhibit. To combat the urge for high-carb, low-nutrient snacks, remove them from the house altogether. Let your kids know what the body wants when cravings hit: nutrient-dense food with enough calories to provide energy to thrive.
Have Fun With Menu Items
No matter how old your kids get, there is something to be said for the occasional pb&j with the crust cut off. Remember that much of the junk food chosen in adulthood often has a nostalgic connection to childhood. Helping your children define that connection in a healthy way right now is a game-changer. Consider ways to swap out ingredients to make everyday menu items in your house more healthy.
- Swap out plant-based milk with breakfast cereal
- Choose trail mix with nuts, fruits, and granola instead of chips for a healthy crunch
- Keep the ranch dressing but add veggie sticks for dipping
- Whole-grain tortillas make taco night even better
Use Alternative Ingredients for Desserts
The idea that there must be a dessert after every meal is one of the most common assumptions that people in the United States have. Unseating that idea helps create a healthier lifestyle. However, you can also use alternative ingredients for more nutritious options when it is time for dessert.
- For a special treat, freeze peeled bananas and dip them in chocolate
- Trade ice cream for frozen yogurt with berries
- Mixed fruit kebabs are a fun way to get nutrients
As your kids grow, the most important thing you can do is provide unconditional love, support, baby iron drops, and guidance so that they can develop the autonomy to make smart and healthy decisions on their own. Healthy snacks that everyone in the house enjoys just happen to be a bonus.