As a parent, you already know that it is important to provide your children with healthy food options. But sometimes, that can be easier said than done! Getting your kids to eat healthy can be a serious challenge – especially when it comes to picky eaters and fussy foodies.
First of all, you should know that fussy eating is a very common issue that most parents face. You should also know that there are a few practical ways to help teach your children about healthy foods. When combined with preventative dental services, you can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Read on to learn more!
1. Connect Food with Feeling Good
One effective way to teach your kids to eat healthy is to make the connection between good food and feeling good. For example, explain to your kids that fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that will help them grow strong. When you’re giving them lean protein and whole grains, let them know that these foods will give them more fuel to run, dance, and play!
Making those connections early on can help your kids understand that their choices directly relate to how they feel throughout the day.
2. Practice What You Preach
If you’re presenting your children with healthy food options, but you’re eating junk food yourself, you’re not setting a good example – and your kids will certainly take notice. When you’re preparing healthy food options, whether its carrot sticks with a sandwich or grilled chicken and broccoli, be sure to eat at least a few bites yourself.
3. Eat Dinner As a Family
As parents, we often live pretty hectic lives with complicated schedules that force us to split time between work, family, and free time. But if you’re able to carve out time to eat dinner as a family – and include healthy food on the menu – it can help set a routine that sticks with your kids for life.
4. Let Them Choose
When you’re grocery shopping, menu planning, and cooking, you should try to get your kids involved in the process. Guide them towards healthy food options in the grocery store, let them be involved in the weekly menu planning, and even have them in the kitchen as you prepare the food. This will make them more excited to eat the food, regardless of what it is.
5. Limit Sweets, Junk, and Fast Food
Limiting the amount of sweets, junk food, and fast food is critical to establishing a positive relationship between your kids and their food. Sure, some candy on Halloween or the occasional trip to the Golden Arches is part of being a kid! But these should be treats, not part of a regular diet. By limiting the amount of sweets and junk your kids consume, you also limit the frequency with which you’ll need to visit their pediatric dentist.
6. Talk to Your Dentist
Sometimes it helps to have a little back-up, too! When you visit a pediatric dentist with your child, you can all discuss the benefits of your kids eating healthy foods together. Your child likely sees the dentist as an authority figure, after all, so it doesn’t hurt to have him or her back you up in your effort to instill healthy eating habits.
If you’re in the Las Vegas area and need a pediatric dentist, look no further than Children’s Dentistry. Our team is ready to welcome you and your little ones into our family, now with several locations throughout the region. Schedule your appointment today!