Children are quick to learn and adapt to new routines. For this reason, it’s important to instil healthy eating habits from a young age.
As your children grow they can act as role models for younger children in offering guidance and demonstrating healthy eating habits to their siblings.
Healthy eating habits are not just limited to the physical. Having positive attitudes and rituals towards your health can be translated across to better handling emotions and behaviours.
That’s certainly a plus in our eyes!
Eat at least one meal as a family
Teach children healthy eating habits by eating at least one meal as a family. If dinner is not doable because of extracurricular activities or work patterns, consider eating breakfast together. Eating as a family allows you to share valuable bonding and family time, as well as conversation.
Set the table for family meals
Introduce the concept of setting the table at a young age. Place placemats on the table along with plates, cutlery, glasses and a large jug of water. Encourage your family to eat and chat about their day; show your children that meal times are as social occasion to be enjoyed with family and friends.
Teach table manners
Healthy eating habits include teaching children to sit correctly and eat properly at the dinner table. Teach children how to use cutlery properly – this is also an important safety measure. For younger children, consider purchasing kid-friendly cutlery that are not too sharp. As their skills increase, you can move them onto proper knives and forks.
Encourage your children to help prepare meals
A healthy curiosity about food should be welcomed and encouraged. Allow your children to experiment with food and cooking. You will be able to pass along great cooking tips this way and hopefully encourage your children to view cooking as a pleasurable activity, not a chore.
Don’t forget to teach them about the importance of cooking healthy balanced meals.
Provide options for your children
Most people will tire quickly when presented with the same meals. Avoid this by preparing a variety of meals throughout the week. You can even include your children by researching recipes and shopping for ingredients together.
Developing healthy eating habits will have life long benefits for your children. Start as young as possible! You won’t regret it!