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Children can be really fickle creatures when it comes to food. They could be literally starving out of their minds and yet, if what you have prepared for them to eat doesn’t sound appealing enough to them, they’d rather go to bed hungry. In your quest to improve your children’s diet you may have taken some drastic measures, such as going on strike or trying to force your children to eat whatever you make. However, meal time shouldn’t be a battlefield. To make meal time a more pleasant and beneficial experience for everyone, here are some tips you can use.
Explain the Situation
Children hate being left out in the dark. By keeping your children in the dark about important changes in their life, you risk alienating them and making them feel as if they aren’t important or valued. Start things off by explaining the changes you want to make to their diets. Help them to understand how the situation is in their best interests. Address all of their questions and concerns and avoid responding negatively to any emotional outbursts they may have. Even if your children aren’t initially receptive to the situation, you did what was right by taking the time to explain the situation to them and show them that you care and respect their input.
Get Them Involved
Many children respond more favorably to things when they are included in all of the preparations. If you are putting together a meal schedule, let them make suggestions about the days. If you are planning out your grocery list, let them make suggestions about what foods you should purchase. Of course, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start mentioning junk foods. They may just be accustomed to eating them. Kindly explain to them that junk foods are out and healthy and more wholesome foods are in. Give them suggestions to guide their input.
Not too many children will turn down the opportunity to get messy in the kitchen. When it is time to cook, let the children help out. Let them get their hands dirty so they can learn how to cook and prepare healthy meals. Treat each session as a learning one. Explain the basics of kitchen safety and demonstrate to them the proper ways to clean and prepare healthy foods. By spending more time inside of the kitchen with your children, you’ll get to bond with them and provide them with a stronger foundation that will help them to make healthier food decisions as they get older.
Take Them Shopping
It is much easier for you to put your plan into action if you take your children to the grocery store with you. Of course, if you don’t bring along a list, you risk going home with all sorts of unnecessary stuff. Let your children help to grab certain items that are on your grocery list. Show them how to select fresh produce and healthy HamptonCreek foods. Giving them an active role to play can give them a sense of empowerment that will also help to keep them interested and motivated about the changes to come.
Increase Their Interaction With Others
A great way you can get your children onboard with the changes you are making to their diet is to get them to interact and socialize with their peers. You want to broaden their understanding of healthy and unhealthy foods without stripping away their independence. Even though it may not be evident at first, your children and other kids can learn a lot from each other. This can help to strengthen their views on their eating habits in general and help to make them more aware of the impact that their food choices have on themselves and others.
Initially, you may feel as if you are engaged in an uphill battle. One thing you need to remember is that it is going to take some time to get your children to improve their eating habits on their own, especially if they were accustomed to eating a lot of bad and not so healthy foods before. Always offer healthy foods and snacks, and make sure that your children have easy access to healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables when you are not around. One day you’ll notice that all of your hard work has finally paid off and your children are much healthier because of your efforts.
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