6 Tips To Start Your Child On A Lifelong Path Of Healthy Eating

fruits and vegetables

Healthy eating habits begin early on in the life of a child.  I have found this to be very true with my own children.  Once they are older, it’s hard to move children to a healthier lifestyle when it comes to food.

Here are a few tips to help start your child off on the right path that will continue throughout their life.

Eliminate Junk Food From The Household

When my older children were younger, we always had junk food of some kind in the house.  They learned to eat it and had access to it all the time.

They still love junk food and do not eat many fruits or veggies.

My two year old has not been exposed to the easy access to junk food.  We don’t keep it in the house anymore.  She is the biggest lover of greens and fruits out of all the children because she was exposed to them from the beginning.

Indulge In Occasional Treats

Even after you have eliminated all junk food from the house, it is a good idea to occasionally indulge in a special treat with your child.  Do not ban your child from eating anything that might be considered junk food.  They need to learn that a little treat is okay every once in a while.

Stop Emotional Eating Before It Starts

In order to have a healthy relationship with food, they need to learn to not associate food with emotions.  I know that I sometimes eat when I’m bored, sad, angry, and this is not healthy.  If a child picks up these emotional eating habits, they can cause obesity and general bad health in the future.  And emotional eating is hard to break.

Show your child other ways to deal with negative emotions that don’t include eating junk.  And don’t let them see you doing it.

Make Their Favorite Foods Healthier

Dinner time doesn’t have to be a battle.  If your child has a favorite food, try making a healthier version of it for them.  If they love spaghetti, use whole grain noodles instead of white.  If they love mashed potatoes, try serving them mashed cauliflower instead.  It might just become a new favorite for them.

Make Healthy Foods Fun

We’ve all seen the Bento box creations, and kids love them.  If you can make healthy food look like your child’s favorite character or a rainbow,  it makes it fun for the child.  They may be more likely to try foods they wouldn’t try before.

Or try blending fruits and vegetables and freezing them into popsicles.  A fun and healthy treat that your child can help create is sure to get more cooperation from your child.

Be An Example

You can’t expect your kids to willingly eat healthy foods if you, yourself are not doing the same.  Kids learn by example and the earlier you can change your eating habits, the less resistance you will see from your children.

healthy eating

It is so much easier to start kids on a healthy path in life, with the proper diet and nutrition if you do it from the beginning.  Make their first foods be fruits and vegetables and limit the junk food they have access to early on.

And change your habits as well!  Just as you want your child to grow up and live a long, healthy life, your kids will want you around for a long time, so make that change now.

*Post inspiration provided.  All thoughts are my own.
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell - May 22, 2013

I really agree about modeling healthy eating in order to really make an impact.

Jenn- The Rebel Chick - May 22, 2013

I wish my daughter was younger I would so be on the Bento lunch train if she were LOL

Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah - May 24, 2013

Great tips! I have the Bento lunch box and my son is starting K in the Fall. Hope I can be creative!

Mum's the word - May 25, 2013

I agree I agree I agree!!!

Jennifer H - May 25, 2013

Such great tips!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? - May 25, 2013

We try to do all of these things…including nothing junky in the house and modeling good eating examples.

Anne - May 25, 2013

It is so important to start kids out right and help them develop good eating habits! Thanks for the tips

Meghan @JaMonkey - May 25, 2013

Great tips!

Elizabeth A. - May 26, 2013

These are some great tips! I’m trying really hard right now to eat a lot better myself.

April Golightly - May 26, 2013

Great tips!

Katie - May 26, 2013

excellent tips! You can never start too soon!

Jennifer - May 26, 2013

We don’t normally eat much or any junk food, but with the addition of a new child (adopting a teenager), things are a bit different. It’s been a hard habit to break, but I’ve almost rid the house of junk food, or should I say rid the teenager of junk food!

Kait - May 26, 2013

I need to be a better example at times — but sometimes I can’t resist those Cheetos!!

Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom - May 27, 2013

I love these suggestions!

Katherines Corner - May 27, 2013

a great start, wonderful tips! xo

Anne - Mommy Has to Work - May 28, 2013

My husband is the one that I need to change…:(

Maryann - May 28, 2013

We are big proponents of good eating.

Sheri - May 28, 2013

Great tips! It is easier to set an example from the beginning than to change things later on.

Jennifer - May 28, 2013

These are some great tips, thank you for sharing them!

Dianna @ oyveyaday - May 29, 2013

Great tips. One way we get our kids to eat veggies is to grow them ourselves – they love to eat what they’ve grown and picked.

HilLesha @To the Motherhood - May 29, 2013

These are wonderful tips!

Kayla Aimee - May 31, 2013

great post! Starting early is so important.

Jennifer H - May 31, 2013

Love these tips!

Meghan @JaMonkey - May 31, 2013

We’ve don this in our house

Sara Phillips - June 2, 2013

These are great tips!!

*I* love junk – so it’s hard for me to keep it out of the house, but I don’t let my kids know it’s here! 😉

Kathy - June 2, 2013

I am setting down the law this summer with my son. Great tips, thanks!

Kelly Tomlinson - June 3, 2013

Making your health a priority is so important!

Dee @ Cocktails with mom - June 3, 2013

No one is a biggie. I think the earlier you start with encouraging healthier eating, it gets easier as they get older.

April Golightly - June 3, 2013

Thanks for the tips.

Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins - June 15, 2013

Thank you for the wonderful tips!

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