Establishing a balanced diet for your family is one of the crucial ways to raise a healthy kid. Kids health is dependent on more than quality nutrition alone: family attitudes towards food, your kids’ social environment and the example you set are all factors that influence a child’s lifestyle choices as she journeys into adolescence and adulthood.
Spread your focus beyond the kitchen
If you’re already making healthy eating for kids a focus in your kitchen, here are eight more ways to ensure your kid has a great foundation for lifelong good health.
Ensure your child keeps good friends
You can’t protect your kid from all the bumps and bruises of life, but keeping tabs on you’re his or her social life (and bringing any bullying out into the open so that it may be dealt with) will help to foster a healthy sense of self esteem.
Keep lifestyle healthy
Healthy eating for kids is essential, but keeping hydrated and getting enough sleep are also crucial for your kid to maintain good health and emotional buoyancy.
Never use food as a reward
It might be tempting to hand out sugary treats as rewards, but words of encouragement are healthier and do not create associations between unhealthy food and happiness.
Never use food as punishment
Don’t punish your child by withholding favourite foods or through other food-related means. Food should be valued as life-sustaining and should not be tied to emotion.
Prepare meals from their basic ingredients
Home cooking (as opposed to ready-made meals) provides maximum control over nutritional content. The caring gesture of cooking for loved ones shows that food is worth labouring over and sharing.
Talk to your child about the importance of nutrition
Telling your child why healthy eating for kids is important helps to instil a sense of gratitude for the ability and freedom to eat healthily – this provides motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Play it forward
An active kid is healthier and hungrier. Outdoor play is essential for bonding, and when suppertime comes around your ravenous child might be hungry enough to enjoy even least favourite vegetables.
Set a Good Example
One of the best ways to ensure good health is to be a positive, healthy influence. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and body weight yourself and your kids will witness the benefits first-hand.