At a very young age, children are taught the basic virtues and moral values for integrating into society. They learn right from wrong, how to make choices, not to run out into the street, and ways to engage in public and private settings. It seems strange then to not establish health as a priority. For something that impacts brain growth, physical development, and mental and emotional well-being, why is healthy eating put on the back burner?
A big issue I hear from parents is the struggle of getting their kids to eat healthy. Adults who are making the transition towards healthier food choices typically face conflict when children are involved. If the pattern has already been set that a diet based on sugar is normal, kids can stir up enough of a fuss which might cause you to give up trying altogether. It’s time to make healthy eating a priority, for you and your family.
Here are 5 ways to get your kids eating healthy:
1. Start Young and Do Not Cave In
Children who have been previously introduced to a diet based on a lot of fruits and vegetables will be more likely to eat healthy throughout their childhood and adolescent years. If your child tends to be emotional, have a short attention span, or is often sedentary; think about what they are eating. Food has a direct effect on the emotions, energy levels and cells. If soft drinks, juices from concentrate, or candy are habitually consumed, try phasing it out altogether. Children do not need to be eating or drinking either of these at any time.
If you have feelings of guilt for not succumbing to your childrens’ sugar or food tantrums, think about their long-term health. Be firm, but loving and persistent. Have faith and patience! Getting kids eating healthy starts with you being a good role model and not wavering in your stance.
2. Clean out the Cupboards
In her book, 10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks, Thorbjörg discusses which foods to avoid. To start with, avoid white potatoes (a potentially impossible thing to say in Scandinavia), gluten, and sugar. Gluten means all bread products. If that seems unrealistic, try choosing quinoa, millet, or wholemeal rye bread instead. Getting kids to eat healthy involves putting sugar and gluten out of reach. See here for some ideas for a gluten free pantry!
3. Decorate & Design!
Add a platter of fruit to the center of your table. It will not only add a nice decor, but will get your family familiar with seeing it. One day they will unconsciously reach for an apple instead of a candy bar; not because it is the only thing available, but because it will seem normal. You can also make food fun by cutting it into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Be inventive and creative by making items mini or bite size. Using colourful fruits and vegetables will get kids eating healthy and making better choices.
4. Cook Together
Make cooking a family meal together a weekly activity. It will help to stay connected as a family as well as familiarise them with the food process from start to finish. This will also set some great foundations for them when they become adults and start cooking on their own. Go shopping and choose the ingredients together to ensure they learn the names of vegetables, fruits, and good quality produce. Need ideas? Here are some fun recipes for kids.
Smart marketing has the aisles with cereals, snacks or candy full of eye catching colors and sugary saturated products within arms reach of kids. If you avoid these aisles, you will also avoid that becoming a problem or battle.
5. Swap out the Sugar for sweets
My Dad spoiled me with donuts every Saturday morning for years. It was the sweetest thing and I looked forward to it every weekend, but was seriously unhealthy. By no means does swapping out the sugar mean hardship. Just because one stops eating refined sugar does not mean you cannot eat sweet things. Check out Before & After, Thorbjörg’s free eBook to get a sweet chocolate recipe that is sugar, dairy, and gluten free!
Use these 5 ways to get kids eating healthier and make a difference in your child’s health, wealth, and general family wellness. Now is the time to get kids eating healthy! I know it is easier said than done, particularly if you don’t know where to start, or how to keep the healthy meals going. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out some of the tools below, and start your journey towards a healthy family!
A sample of healthy recipes and some insight into a few of the many lives, including Thorbjörg herself, that have been revitalized thanks to Thorbjörg’s proven natural anti-ageing regiment. The bestselling book 10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks reached cult status in Scandinavia thanks to a refreshingly natural approach on how to look and to feel younger.
Download the ‘pine tribe seed’ mini e-book for free