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Simple Tips to Get Kids Excited About Eating Healthy

Simple Tips to Get Kids Excited About Eating Healthy

When it comes to health, we adults know it to be our greatest wealth. Children, however, would be happy eating twinkies and otter pops for the rest of time. “You are what you eat” makes them think they can dress up as a banana for Halloween—that’s why it is our responsibility to educate, empower, and inspire children about food from an early age.

This may be easier said than done for most parents and loved ones caring for children, however. Some kids are great eaters and beg for fruit and veggies, while others throw a catastrophic tantrum at the sight of anything that grew out of the ground. So what to do with picky kids or kids who just don’t want to even “go there” with healthy food?

We spoke with holistic health and wellness coach, Christy Jones to gain some insight and guidance on how to approach healthy eating to children and help them learn why certain foods are good and others are not.

“Don’t make eating healthy a huge attention grabber or a punishment. This only increases the taboo around the foods you are trying to get your kids to eat, making it even harder to manage a balanced meal. Instead, make eating healthy and making good choices empowering and fun. Keeping a good relationship with food at a young age is incredibly important. Stress and anxiety around food at an early age creates deeply seeded body image issues (and potentially eating disorders) in the future.”

Here are some suggestions for picky kids and busy lives. See what works for you and experiment and don’t give up!

Simple tips and tools to get kids to eat healthy:

  • Bring children grocery shopping and invite them to cook alongside you. When kids are involved they are more interested in the food they are eating
  • Encourage them to use their 5 senses at the store or market to pick out something fresh they would want to try
  • Grow a garden, go to a farmers market, or visit a community garden so children understand where food comes from and it’s a discovery adventure
  • Show children where food labels are, what they mean and why they’re important
  • Download a food score app to get kids involved in making decisions in the store. There are apps that rate anything in a package (1 good - 10 toxic) so you know immediately whether it’s good for you or not. Getting kids involved is incredibly important to forming good habits early
  • Look at the sugar content in everything ~ 10-15g/day of added sugar is recommended for children (this doesn’t include fruit or naturally occurring sugar, so keep that in mind as well)
  • If you give children vitamins, make sure they are plant based with natural ingredients that you can pronounce. Vitamins should never contain sugar, so no Flintstones vitamins … sorry kids

Created a monster? Try these tips to take a step back:

  • Cut back on soda, juice, sugary beverages - replace with fresh lemonade or flavored water
  • No sugary cereals for breakfast
  • Relate eating healthy to growing and being and active “eating your vegetables makes you grow up to be healthy and strong and athletic! Approach it with positivity, not scare tactics. For example: A positive comment would be: “Do you think [insert superhero] eats Coco Puffs for breakfast?” And a negative comment would be: “You’ll never grow up to be strong or fast or athletic if you eat this.” The difference is massive to a child
  • Find a healthier option and work towards making a shift. For example, if fast food is the vice, try going to In-n-Out or Chick-fil-A rather than Mc Donald’s. This may sound like a lateral movement to many, but the ingredient list and preservative list are very different between these two establishments
  • Take a small step each week - this isn’t a race and the more pressure you feel, the more pressure you transfer to your kids and the more they feel anxiety around food
  • Try superfood smoothies or pre-made mixes that are full of nutritional value and also taste good. This help you get vitamins and minerals in your children that they won’t ingest on their own

When children eat healthy more often and consistently, they will begin to crave healthier options. Their taste buds will actually evolve to enjoy the taste of foods they couldn’t even stomach before—and their bodies will ask for them intuitively.

When we are stressed we don’t digest food properly and then don’t get nutrients from their food. It is incredible how many children are stressed these days. Children are not built to manage or handle stress the same way that adults are, so helping them develop techniques and practices that can help them channel or release stress is incredibly important.

Techniques to help children manage stress are:

  • Power Brain: This method has been implemented in public schools in the New York Metro area and both parents and teachers are seeing great results in their children—both in class and at home. Power Brain is a method that helps children develop their intuition, strengthen their mind-body connection, and connect to the inner peace so that when they are presented with stress, they have the tools and resources to manage it and expel it naturally.
  • Belly Button Healing: This revolutionary method is changing the lives of adults around the world, and it’s safe for kids 6 and older as well! Belly Button Healing is a quick, one-step, self-healing method that mindfully stimulates the belly button for gut and brain health, energy, and stress and pain relief. Intestines tense up when you’re stressed and introducing this simple, 5-minute exercise can help relax the abdomen, improve digestion, release stress, and even ease physical pain associated with anxiety. Note: Only use the largest tip of the Belly Button Healing Wand and press very gently.   

Meal and snack time should be enjoyable for all parties involved and these tips can help you regain control over the situation and simultaneously get your kids excited about the foods they crave and eat. It is important to always be mindful of the tone, approach, and tactics that you use in educating children about food. If you would like a consultation with Christy about your specific situation, you can contact her here.

Ultimately, the power is in your hands to empower your children and work with them to find healthy options and alternatives to unhealthy favorites. Try not to make it a war (easier said than done) because this will impact your children for years to come. Food is fun and tasty and fulfilling and should be treated as such. This gift from Mother Earth is here for our proper usage.

Bon Appétit!

Written by Morgan Garza
Morgan is a free spirit, world traveler and a lover of light. She loves to write about and research our inner healing power to help people realize their true potential. An avid practicer of yoga and meditation, Morgan is continuously evolving. She encourages all of us to follow our dreams by taking that first step into the unknown and truly practices what she preaches.
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