5 Eating Tips for Kids
It's rather comical that I’m writing about healthy eating habits for kids since cooking and food groups are not my strong point. In fact, I’ve been known to say to my granddaughter, “Hey, let’s get dinner at 7-11.” Yet, it’s not so much about what the children eat as it is about the smaller things we can do that add up to better health.
So here’s my list that’s feasible for every single mom. If you glean from just a few of these, you’re already making progress.
- Eat breakfast. I know how hard that is when you’re rushing out the door, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kick-starts the body and makes it easier to maintain energy. I’m surprised every year at our summer statewide conference how many children arrive on Saturday morning starving half to death.
- Remember the water. Make it their drink of choice at dinner. It’s the best way to quench their thirst. Plus it doesn’t come with all the sugar found in juices and soft drinks. My mother did not make me drink water and to this day, I don’t like it, though I force myself to drink it. Train the kids early. It will keep them healthy a lifetime.
- Eat together. It’s so easy to plop the kids in front of the TV while you scurry about your chores. But eating together allows you to see that they don’t scarf it down. Eating slowly at any age is good for digestion. Plus, eating together teaches them social skills. It’s at the table that my mother taught me the difference between the dinner fork and the salad fork.
- Choose vibrant colors. All shades in fruits and vegetable come from natural plant chemicals that have healthy effects on our bodies: tomatoes, cucumbers, berries. Offer your kids colorful foods in creative ways: making a face or drawing a scene. You might even get them to eat the spinach for trees.
- Listen to the voice of your tummy. Instruct the children to know when to stop. My mother would never let me say, “I’m full,” but she did encourage me to say, “I’ve had plenty.” Begin early to teach them to develop their ability in monitoring fullness. (I need to practice this myself!)
Which of these speak to you? Happy meal time, my friend.