You call your children to wash their hands and prepare to eat. They hurry up and are ready at the table in a matter of seconds. Apparently, everything is going well during this little lunch. However, when serving food to your children, you begin to hear their complaints that the food is disgusting, that they prefer not to eat anything and you even see how they start throwing all the food to the dog. Observing all this causes you much discomfort, so you decide to threaten your children. If you don’t eat all your food you will not watch TV! It seems that threats work. The children started giving small bites to the vegetables, but finishing them up means a challenge for them.
How many times has the same happened to you?
In my case, I have witnessed at least 200 times when my friends' children make a fuss about not eating their vegetables. Is it always that difficult? Teaching the importance of eating healthy to your children often is a huge challenge. Therefore, in this article I want you to reflect on some of the most successful methods to teach them the importance of eating healthy to your children. I know very well that you want your children to stay as far away as possible from junk food and other harmful food to their body. However, you must also understand that in the real world, your children should be able to decide on their own. In other words, your job is to show your children what is right, healthy and nutritious. This way, you will save yourself the future havoc that can cause the problems of obesity or another illness generated by bad nutrition.
Before starting you should know the following:
Be the model that children need to follow. It is totally necessary. If you want your children to start eating in a healthier way, you should do it too. It is as if you tell your children to eat their salad and you are eating a pizza in front of them. What you will generate is that children feel cheated and despised. So, if your dream is to have a family with healthy habits, it is better that you start to improve your habits, too. Once you achieve a healthy routine, your children will want to follow you, and that means you can control the situation of your children eating healthy without any problem.
Do not try to force them
At first, get away from giving them a nutrition lesson. Do not tell them that good nutrition is good for this and that. Just let your children experience. Also, if you are following the first point, you will surely be winning the game because for children, eating healthy will become something natural without being forced to do so. It must be understood, then, that we should let things flow and continue their normal rhythm. Remember that children see junk food everywhere. Therefore, it is important at this point in your life that you learn to be naturally attracted to healthy food. So for now, avoid giving the nutrition class until they are a little more prepared to receive it.
Focus on educating
Mary grew up with her mom and two younger sisters. Since she was little, Mary was always told what food she should eat. Nobody taught her in a good way why she should stick to the rules and eat only what her mother wanted her to eat. This caused a conflict of emotions and triggered a situation of rebelliousness as she grew that ended up having a strong eating disorder. Her mother wanted to do things right by forcing her to eat healthy food and prohibit other types of food. However, this caused Mary to feel in a kind of prison where her decisions were not worth and, therefore, she ended up disobeying her mother by consuming all kinds of food from the prohibited area. Our goal with our children is to educate them. At no time should the child be forced to eat or not eat something. I know, this idea sounds terrible. However, its effectiveness is profound and keeps its effects in the medium and long term.
Be creative and talk with your children
Children are magnets of creativity and fantasy. That's why, in the process of teaching them about nutrition; that creative touch should never be lacking. Sit next to them and start telling them the story of a salmon that saved an entire kingdom thanks to its nutrient called Omega. Or you can tell them a story about a tomato that decided to join his family in a salad. The limit here is your own creativity.
What happens if you cannot be creative?
Surely, you can start asking your children questions like What kind of food do you think that is? Could you tell me a story where it is mentioned that salmon has nutrients for our body? Children are very good at creating and sharing stories, so you can let them express themselves that way. Remember that you must always listen to them. Therefore, having conversations on the subject of nutrition is crucial to their understanding.
With these stories, you can also begin to teach them the differences between vitamins, proteins, and other minerals. I remember that one of my neighbors had designed a board game where the main characters were vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Then, each time someone rolled the dice, the character advanced and a letter with some curious information was read. I also remember that those children love playing that game. That's why I want you to see it as an example of the kind of things you can do to help your children understand the importance of having good nutrition. Children are open books. However, they are also delicate. It is important that they learn to differentiate between good and bad food. But, that means you must carefully plan each nutrition lesson.