We all want our kids to eat healthy food without any fuss. We want our kids to naturally pick out the healthy foods rather than constantly demanding junk and treats.
It is perfectly possible to teach children healthy eating habits in easy and fun ways BUT it doesn’t happen overnight.
Teaching your kids healthy eating is like teaching them to ride a bike. It is a skill that they need to learn.
Most children’s default setting is to ask for cake, cake and more cake.
Our job as parents is to gently steer them towards healthy foods and teach them that cake is a fantastic and delicious treat that can be eaten in moderation.
The thing about habits is that once you’re in a habit, you do it without thinking.
For healthy eating, that might be your kids asking for some fruit or nuts for a snack instead of stamping their feet for chocolate. (Yes, it totally can happen!)
Or it might be them eating some vegetables without being asked.
The problem is, when you’re not in the habit, it takes a lot of effort to get into it.
The best way to change your habits is to make it do-able and to keep at it for a period of time. (Depending on the habit, it can take anywhere between a month and 3 months to truly establish a habit.)
You just need to keep going!
Have a think about the “worst” thing about your family diet.
If you could wave a magic wand what would you change?
Find your “worst” thing and think how you can change it.
One great way is to make a substitute rather than trying to go without.
Be realistic about what you can do with your routine.
If you decide that instead of take out every day, you’re suddenly going to cook from scratch every day, chances are you’re soon going to be overwhelmed and give up.
If you decide that every Saturday, you’re going to have fun and get the whole family cooking (prepare yourself for a bit of stress, total chaos and a messy kitchen but enjoy it) then your chances of success are much higher.
Think about what you’d like to change and find a way that you can make a slight improvement.
Then stick to it!
Don’t be put off by the fact that it only seems “small”. Once you are in that habit, once you can do that thing without thinking about it and without having to muster energy to do it, then you’re ready to take one more small step.
Remember that healthy eating is a marathon, not a sprint!
If you’d like some help changing your habits, come and join the challenge! We’re finding fun and simple ways to turn healthy eating into a habit.
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Learn how to feed your toddler a healthy diet in a stress free way...without pressuring or nagging!