Healthy Eating Habits for Preschoolers

1/5/2020

Modern busy lifestyles and junk food marketing, that usually targets the younger populations, can make getting your kids to eat well an uphill struggle. In today’s society, many diets are built around convenience and takeout food. We all feel overwhelmed sometimes by the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there. Also, the idea of switching to a healthy diet can seem confusing and hard. You are not alone in this. Without the right nutrients, toddlers and preschoolers might struggle to develop the skills to maintain concentration, which becomes increasingly important as they get older. Healthy diet can have a profound effect on children’s health such as helping them to maintain a healthy weight, avoiding certain health problems, stabilizing their moods, and sharpening their minds. A healthy diet can also have a profound effect on a child’s sense of mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety and ADHD. It’s important to remember that your kids aren’t born with a craving for a candy bar, french fries or pizza and an aversion to broccoli, lettuce, and carrots. This happens over time as kids are exposed to more and more unhealthy food choices. However, it is possible to reprogram your children’s food cravings so that they crave healthier foods instead. Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods. Kids should be eating more whole minimally processed food.
  • Cook more meals at home. Takeout meals have more added sugar and unhealthy fat so cooking at home can have a huge impact on your kids health. You can always make large batches or even freeze the food. Cooking just a few times can be enough to feed your family for the whole week
  • Get kids involved in shopping for groceries and preparing meals. You can teach them about different foods and how to read food labels.
  • Make healthy snacks available. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages on hand so kids avoid unhealthy snacks like soda, chips, and cookies.
  • Be a role model. The childhood impulse to imitate is strong so don’t ask your child to eat vegetables while you eat potato chips. Show them that they can enjoy healthy foods even more than chips or a candy bar.
  • Family style meals: At L'Academy we serve nutritious meals and the children eat family style. By serving food in this manner, at school and at home, it will encourage children to be more adventurous with food when everyone in the room is enjoying the same meal. When children see their family members and peers trying new foods, they will naturally be encouraged to try them as well

Here you can find interesting articles on how to make better food choices for your children.

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2015/05/how-to-create-healthy-eating-habits-for-kids

https://www.webmd.com/children/kids-healthy-eating-habits#1

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=preschooler-nutrition-90-P02273

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