Feeding our kids has become one of the most stressful things to do these days. Navigating the grocery store with their vast selections of kid-friendly branded foods and catchy marketing phrases leaves a lot of uncertainty on what is the best choice of our kids. Let’s not forget all of the articles out there that say “this food” or “that foot” will lead to cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. It can be exhausting trying to feed a family, but I want to challenge ourselves to think outside of the food and focus on some other important habits that have been proven to help increase the quality of our little ones’ diets and also help raise confident eaters.
Eat together with no distractions
I like to highlight this one for many reasons. We know from research that children who participate in family meals tend to have a diet that is higher in fruit and vegetable servings then those that don’t.
We also know that kids learn how to eat from you - their parents. When you try a new food, your child may become interested in that new food, even without prompting.
Keep food positive
This one is my favorite. How many times have you been told, “Don’t eat that” or “that’s terrible for you?” What happened? Did you eat it anyway? Did you feel guilty about it? Did you seek that food out more when you were stressed or down? Parents and adults are the number one influence on their child’s eating habits and children will quickly pick up on the negative food talk. If we change our outlook on food and keep it positive, kids are less likely to overeat on those foods that aren’t packed with essential nutrients for the body.
Sometimes, changing the “how we eat” can be a bit easier than changing the “what we eat.” Either way, by adding these two things into your daily lives, we will be well on our way to creating healthy, happy eaters.