Be a Great Role Model
First of all, your kids are going to pay a lot more attention to what you do than what you say. You can preach to them all day long about the importance of a healthy diet, but if they see you snacking on chips, cookies, and other unhealthy foods, they’re going to want those, not fruits and vegetables.
Next, you really can’t expect your kids to develop good and healthy eating habits if you don’t start early and maintain a consistent healthy diet for them. Instead of pre-packaged foods for lunch and snack time at school, pack healthy whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, unsweetened yogurt, and whole grain bread for their sandwiches.
Talk to Them About the Good Foods They’re Eating
When you make them snacks or meals at home, don’t just put a plate out and tell them to dig in. Instead, explain to them in positive, fun terms why you’ve chosen the foods you’ve put in front of them. Milk will make their bones strong and help their muscles grow. Fruits and vegetables will give them the energy they need to run and jump.
Give Them Healthy, Guided Choices
Instead of forcing your kids to eat certain healthy foods that they don’t like, give them guided, healthy choices. That way they can choose between the foods they prefer, and they won’t feel like they’re being punished with a healthy meal so that they can be rewarded with an unhealthy dessert later.
Don’t Reward With Sweet Treats
Finally, if your child was very good at the doctor or did really well on a project in school, it’s perfectly fine to reward them. Just don’t do it with ice cream and other sweet treats. Instead, choose a healthy reward, like buying them a book they love or taking them to the park to play on the playground.