How to Teach Children Healthy Eating Habits


Imparting healthy habits to your kids will help them make smarter choices for themselves in the future.

At some point in life, we all probably wish we had started building healthier habits at a younger age. As you get older and your metabolism slows, it becomes harder to maintain a healthy weight and as the old saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. It is possible of course to change your habits, but establishing healthy habits in youth makes them easier to maintain through the years. You want to give your kids everything you never had, so rather than giving more toys, give them the gift of health. Teach them the right foods and exercise habits and prevent them from having to do damage control later. Here are some tips on how to instill good habits in your kids so they can grow into fit, happy adults.

teach healthy habits

  1. Team Sports Encourage your kids to find a sport they enjoy. Sports are one of the best ways for kids to gain social experience and develop strong personalities and cooperative skills. Also, while they are playing and having fun they are also building strong hearts and muscles. According to the New York Times, research has shown that team sports result in lifelong improvements affecting several aspects of a person's life. Health, eduction, and even work prospects were improved. According to Robert Kaestner, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, girls that participate in sports had a 7 percent lower risk of obesity 20 to 25 years in the future.

  2. Home Cooked Meals Not only is cooking at home and eating with the family a great way to keep everyone connected, it is a great way to keep kids way from fast food and junk food. It may be easier to pick something up from the closest fast food restaurant after a long day at work, but the drive thru isn't healthy for anyone in your family. Well balanced, healthy meals are better for everyone and the kids will learn to enjoy that food better than the fries and burgers in kids' meals. Teach them to drink water and eat their fruits and vegetables so these habits will stick.

  3. Lead By Example Children learn by imitation. The environment we are raised in shapes the rest of our lives. Your children will model their behavior after yours so set a good example. Make sure they see you making smart food decisions and making the effort to stay in good shape. Do as you should, working out three to four times a week and eating what you know is good for your body, not just what takes good. This is simply the safest bet. The whole "Do as I say - not as I do" thing doesn't really work.

Teaching your kids these good habits now will help to establish a strong basis for them to build on for the rest of their lives. There may be some resistance or whining at first, but stay strong. You know this is best for them. They may not be old enough to appreciate it now, but they will surely thank you later.