The one thing that a lot of parents tend not to realise is just how much influence they have over their children. The way that you raise them will directly affect their overall abilities in pretty much everything, so if there is anything that you want to ensure that they stick to, it is best to teach it to them at a young age.
This is apparent with languages, habits and many other things, but also in food. Just like with the basic routine of cleaning your teeth, if you teach a child to do something at a young enough age then they will stick to it, and the same can be said of healthy eating.
Lead by example is really the quote to follow here –if you can set a good example by constantly eating healthily and encouraging the same in your children from a young age, they will most likely turn out just as you want them to.
Ways to do this
But how exactly can you best make sure that your children eat healthily? The trick is to not just show them, but to let them discover for themselves.
For example, start to try and make your kids really love food by getting them to experience many different cultures and all the food that they have to offer. The best way to do this is to really vary the food that you give them – look at foods from all kinds of cultures, and find ways in which you can make them really healthy.
If you try enough different dishes you will most likely find a new favourite for at least one of your children, meaning it is definitely worth your time. This is also a great opportunity to get them used to new foods that they may not have tried before. For example, spices can take a lot of getting used to, but there are a huge number of different dishes which do have an element of spice to them – as such, if you can get your kids used to spice now, you can move them onto even more ethnic foods when they get older, really branching out.
As this is the thing – you need to be able to remember what a healthy diet actually is. It is not just eating fruit and vegetables, but it is about getting a varied diet. If you can do this, then you will start to feel much healthier within yourself, so being able to give this to your children is an amazing thing.
However when it comes to children you do need to consider their appetites. Young children will not like spicy food, and certain dishes are not really ideal for younger ages – it’s up to you to realise which ones are not suited for your children, and to act accordingly.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t experiment to some degree. Take a look online at different equipment and see which you can put to use – review websites will be really helpful in deciding which equipment you need. Look up home meat slicer reviews and the like, just to see what types of equipment there are and which you can put to good use in your cooking for your family.
Keeping it fun
In the end though, you do need to remember that food should be enjoyable. As Thomas Keller quite simply put it, ‘Food should be fun’. Remember this, as it is the key to making sure that your kids do eat a wide and varied healthy diet. If you can make mealtimes fun then they will be far more likely to enjoy the meals, and therefore will eat far better.
You should start to see many improvements in how they behave, act and feel, as they will benefit greatly from the new and exciting meals that they are being given, as well as increasing their overall cultural awareness.
About the author:
John Went is a parent of two boys. Around his busy work schedule he has found time to put his Warring professional meat grinder to good use in ensuring his boys have a great diet.
Image courtesy of Inspired RD via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to eat healthy foods.