It seems like everywhere you look, another junk food or sugary snack is being advertised to children. Kids love these flavorful snacks, so how can parents encourage healthy eating instead? If you’ve got a child, you know just how difficult meal- and snack-times can be as you try to find healthy foods for sometimes picky eaters. To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve gathered some great tips to encourage healthy eating for children.

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The Benefits of Healthy Eating

Eating a healthy diet is crucial for kids and adults to live well. A good diet leads to balanced moods, healthy weight maintenance, and better concentration with the right calories and nutrients. Plus, a healthy diet can even improve a child’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

Keeping a balanced diet isn’t just crucial for your child’s current health. Instead, setting good eating habits now will have far-reaching effects on your child’s life. Getting the right vitamins and minerals during the important growing stages of youth establishes a good foundation for adult health. After all, it’s a lot more challenging to get healthy than stay healthy, so starting off on the right food is incredibly helpful.

Setting healthy eating habits in childhood will prime your kids to appreciate and crave fresh and nutritious foods instead of soda and junk food in adulthood.

Tips for Healthier Eating

Since your children rely on you to provide their food, it is vital that you offer healthy foods to them and make it easy for them to enjoy. Here are a few ways to encourage healthy eating for children.

Lead By Example

From the time your child is born, they are learning from the adults around them. They learn to talk and walk through mimicking adults. The same goes for eating habits. If your child sees you eat chocolate for breakfast, they’ll be more likely to think that’s a good choice. Encouraging healthy eating habits in your kids may require you to make a few healthy changes in your own diet.

Homemade Meals

Cooking at home gives you the power to control what you eat. You’ll know exactly what goes into the meal and can reduce salt, sugar, or fat as needed. Plus, eating at home is easier on your wallet, too. If you don’t have a lot of time to cook, try meal-prepping for the week and make use of your fridge and freezer to store surplus servings.

Involve the Kids

Kids will be more excited to try new foods if they are involved in choosing or preparing them. Take them grocery shopping and discover new ingredients to try together, or find a recipe online that looks tasty to them.

Make Healthy Food Available

It’s easy to stock the pantry with snack cakes or bags of chips for easy snack time, but you can make healthy food just as available. Replace chips with cut-up carrots or broccoli and keep pure fruit juice or water instead of soda. If the healthy food is available and ready to go, your kids are more likely to eat it when they need a snack.