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5 Effective Ways to Inculcate Good Eating Habits In Your Kids

If you sit back and ponder, you’ll realize that a lot of your present habits are manifestations of your learnings and exposures as a child. In almost every aspect of your personality, from your social mannerisms to your food preferences, your childhood major roles to play. It’s no surprise they say that good habits are learned best when taught during the early years of childhood.

Kids Good Eating Habits

Today’s supermarkets are stocked with processed foods high on the flavor quotient and low in nutrition. Fast food joints are opening in every street, while the media bombards us with advertisements about them. A lot of these advertisements target small children. This makes it more crucial that we align our kids’ eating habits in the right way, so they make healthier choices for themselves.

How to Get Your Kids to Have Good Eating Habits

Here are five easy and effective ways to inculcate good eating habits in your kids:

1. Eat Together: This is one of the best habits to make mealtime a pleasant experience for you and your kids. Get into the practice of eating your meals on the dining table, as a family rather than allowing your kids to sit in front of the TV while having their food. Too many distractions during mealtime can make your kids focus less on what they are eating and more on the inconsequential things around them. Instead, savoring food together over beautiful conversations can make mealtime a great opportunity to strengthen family ties.

2. Involve Them In The Process: Involving your kids in the process of shopping for food and cooking is a good way to increase their awareness about nutrition and to reduce their resistance to mealtime. Don’t make your weekly trips to the supermarket alone. Take your little ones along and ask them to pick their choice of fruits and veggies from the counters, while you share fun facts about them. Ask them to assist you in the process of cooking by helping with simple tasks like fetching water, measuring, washing vegetables, etc. You’ll soon see your kids beginning to look forward to mealtime.

3. Set A Good Example: Your kids grow up emulating you and your habits. Since you are their first and the greatest source of inspiration, your habits impact their choices in a big way. If you want your kids to pick up good eating habits while you skip meals and gorge on junk food yourself, you’re not going to see fruitful results. Your kids will retort with the, “but, you do so too” argument each time you reprimand them on their bad eating habits. It, thus, becomes very important for you to make healthy food choices and practice good eating habits consciously.

4. Offer Choices: Provide your kids with an array of healthy food choices to pick from instead of forcing them to eat only specific foods. Give them the option of choosing what they’d like to eat (with given limits) before you cook for them. If your kids love candy, avoid banning it from their diet completely, but keep a tab on the amount they are allowed to eat. Restricting the foods your kids like from their diets will only make them crave for the forbidden foods more.

5. Avoid Forcing Food Down: In an attempt to provide your kids with wholesome nutrition, if you force them to finish every bite on their plate, you are unknowingly making them dread mealtime. Ask your kids to serve themselves, depending on how much they want to eat and let them eat their meals at their own pace. Doing this will make them self-sufficient, while also helping them understand the importance of right portion sizes.

Apart from these tips, it also helps to form a strict mealtime (and snack time) routine and stick to it. Doing this will bring about discipline and prevent your kids from grazing pointlessly. If there are certain healthy foods that your kids don’t fancy, don’t fret about it. Continue to introduce those foods in their meals time and again until they acquire a taste for them. Hope these tips help you raise healthy eaters.

Aradhana Pandey

Aradhana Pandey

Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.

34 comments

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  • I have a 2 year old at home who is very picky on food. Though he eats with us, but I wish he could finish off his plate.

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  • You have great tips that are reasonable and sensible. In fact, I’ve employed some of them at home myself to encourage my kids good eating habits. I want my children to love eating well, instead of ending up trying to unlearn bad eating behaviors. It’s so difficult when they get to be teenagers!

  • One unconventional thing I do with my toddler since he was young is skipping a high chair. He wasn’t interested in sitting in one even when he was little, so I let him play and come back to the table for bites of food. It seems to work for him! I totally agree with all of the tips here, though. Especially important to set a good example. Also a good idea to have conversations with your kids about foods and what properties in healthy foods are good for them!

  • My 3-year old daughter is such a picky eater. Thanks for your tips. We’ve tried eating together though but she only plays with water. I’ll try the involving process this week.

  • These are some great tips! I’m always looking for tips and tricks to get my girls to eat healthier, but especially more veggies and fruits! I feel like there is so much junk out there that it’s up to us parents to make those choices for them.

  • Great tips. We’ve been trying g to eat as a family more, and I notice the boys are very interested in what we’re eating and are happy it’s the same thing.

  • I totally agree with this!! We always eat together. My toddler is beyond picky these days, but I feel she’s getting more brave because we do eat together and she sees what I’m eating!

  • Family meal times are a big thing in our home. We also have the rule that you have to at least taste everything I make. Though I do not force them to eat it if after tasting they dont like it.

  • I agree that eating together is the first and best way to do this! Did it with my daughter and watching my granddaughter now at 14 months old dipping into everything! She is unafraid of spicy food or whatever is put before her. She has formed a dislike for fish – for some reason – but will eat everything else off the plate,then lick the plate! And she is skinny!!! Go figure.

  • These are the good examples. my son is a 2 year old boy and he is a picky eater he loves biscuits only. from now on i am eating together with my son.

  • I like your point about offering them choices, and I did that too but within reason. I wasn’t going to make a special meal or anything. Eating together is a great idea too — best time of the day!

  • I find that letting the kids help in the kitchen definitely gets them interested in eating it afterwards. I love your tips.

  • These are some great tips to educate our kids with some good eating habits which is so important as they grow up. We always love eating together as a family & I have always loved involving them in the process of shopping, cooking & helping me in the kitchen as well.

  • I do pretty good at these. I could set a better example sometimes though, and oh I know the kids are looking. They see everything.

  • Setting a good example has to be the BEST tip of all! Me, I just always told my kids that “fun food” was poison lol – seriously though … kids today have too much access to foods designed to create type 1 diabetes, obesity, illness, etc and so on – so parents need to eat, and be healthy so their kids have a better chance at being so as well. They may think twice when older and out with their friends.

  • Eating together is really important, not only do they get used to your eating habits, but it also builds better relationships between parents and kids. I love that you included setting an example, because that’s really where it all begins.

About Author

Aradhana Pandey

Aradhana Pandey

Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com. Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.