Teaching and Encouraging Children to Eat Well

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It can be hard to encourage children to try new things.  Many times, kids will refuse to eat anything that is new and unfamiliar.  When they put up a resistance against food, it can be easy to give in and simply let them eat what they like, such as chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese.  But what we put into our bodies has a lot to do with our health.  It’s more important now than ever before to send a message to our children about the importance of eating well.  So how can we do that?

A Positive Attitude Toward New Foods

One tip to encourage healthy eating in children is to try to cultivate positive attitudes about food.  Eating should be an enjoyable time, not a time we dread.  Instead of pointing out the healthy or unhealthy foods children choose to eat, offer them mostly healthy choices and include an occasional treat in those options as well.  This will help children realize that food is just a part of life, not a punishment or bribe.

Be Together

Another way to make eating healthy something to look forward to is to do it together as a family.  Eating meals together fosters a sense of closeness.  It makes mealtime more enjoyable to spend it with each other, and it is a great time to have some good conversations. Talk about favorite foods and new foods you’d like to try, and even plan some meals together to get the kids involved in the planning and preparation of trying new foods.

Make It Fun

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a chore.  Make it fun by offering some fun food choices.  Kids love roll-ups as they are something different than just sandwiches every day.  You can have ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or even pizza-flavored roll-ups, all offered on a healthy whole grain tortilla.  Children also love food in fun shapes. Invest in cookie cutters that can turn any food into a fun and interesting shape.  Another way to encourage healthy eating is to provide yummy dips to dip food into.  It’s easier for some to eat vegetables with some delicious hummus than by itself.  Guacamole, salsa, natural peanut butter, or almond butter are other healthy options to encourage children to make healthier food choices.  But remember, you as the adult are setting the example.  So if you want your children to eat healthy, be sure they see you eating healthy as well.  Children are more likely to establish good habits if they see the adults around them doing the same.

Consider Chiropractic Care

Another great way to encourage a healthier lifestyle is to improve the overall health of your entire family through chiropractic care from a Charlotte chiropractor.  Chiropractic care improves spinal health by removing misalignments that can lead to nerve interference and disruption of the body’s natural functions.  Children especially are prone to misalignments just because they are so active.  Dr. Grant Lisetor of Greater Life Chiropractic is well-versed in providing safe and effective chiropractic care for children and adults of all ages and levels of health. Start building healthier habits for yourself and your family with healthier eating and chiropractic care by contacting us today!

Source

Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Kit, B.K. “Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2014; 311 (8): 806-814. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1832542

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