How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits into Toddlers
As parents, we want to do the very best we can for our kids. We want them to be happy and healthy—because part of being happy is being healthy! Just think about it. After you exercise or eat a hearty meal that's good for you, don't you feel amazing? I sure do.
It's a lot easier to be healthier as an adult when you have been exposed to eating healthy your whole life. If you grew up in a home where your parents taught you that you have to take care of your body by eating good food and exercising, then it's only a natural habit for you.
We are so lucky because we have this huge opportunity to instill healthy habits into the next generation.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to eating healthy and exercising among children. It is crucial for parents to be an example if they want to instill healthy habits into their children.
I have come up with some very practical tips. They aren't hard but they might not always be easy.
Have water with everything
My son is 2.5 years old and LOVES water. No joke. We have water with dinner, at restaurants, and all throughout the day. The goal is to get them used to water, instead of juice or soda.
Smoothies and Juicing
Incorporate smoothies and home-juiced juice from the very beginning. We love to juice on the weekends and make smoothies during the week. We have at least 3 smoothies a week—if not one every day! It’s a great way to sneak in greens and good food for your body.
Have them help cook healthy food
Make it fun. Let them cut however they cut. Don't criticize and just have fun.
Teach them about healthy fruits and vegetables
I love explaining to my son about the fruits and vegetables we eat or prepare. I'll show him each one and tell him: "This is good for your eyes," "This is good for your heart," and so forth.
Lead by example
The expressions, “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree” and "Like father, like son" both mean the same thing. Kids follow the lead of their leader. So, provide an excellent example for them to follow.
Grow a garden
Kids are naturally curious. I let my son just play in the dirt while I'm planting. We also love letting him water the garden during the summer and pick off the fruit it produces.
Go shopping together
Go shopping to farmers market together and let them put the food into the cart. Kids feel so important when you involve them. This could be a great way to get them interested in the food that they are eating.
Eat at home
When we eat home, we have a greater opportunity to cook and eat healthier foods on a budget.
Fruits, veggies, and energy balls are all great snack ideas.
I hope that you and your family have fun eating healthy. Don’t forget to have fun along the way. Happy eating, friends!