How to Help Your Kids Eat Healthy

Most parents and caregivers can agree that getting kids, especially young ones, to eat healthy can be a constant challenge. They don’t want to try new things and when they do, they can be put off by the texture or the taste, or even something else. Here are some tips that have worked for me or a family member:

Rule #1: Don’t force them to eat certain things! It doesn’t get you anywhere and may even backfire.

Rule #2: OFFER all foods by asking them if they want it and/or placing a small amount on their plate. The more the food is mentioned, the more likely they are to at least say yes at some point.

Rule #3: Make the food appealing or attractive in some way. Entice them. For example, with broccoli, I told my nephews that it looked like a little tree that they could eat. It still took a while for them to try it but the tree thing intrigued them and helped them get used to the idea.

Rule #4: If they really don’t like a certain food, don’t force them to eat it. They may learn to like it later on and you can certainly keep offering it to them, but if they’ve already tried it and say they don’t like it, don’t force them to eat it.

Some other ideas:

  • Hide the healthier foods in the less healthy food that they like. Go with this age-old idea of hiding it in their other food. You can mix small pieces of veggies and meat into scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese (or other pasta dishes), spaghetti or other kinds of sauces, breads/muffins that you make yourself, etc. The ideas are endless. Now, I realize that you’re not going to “fool” all kids this way but it’s an idea for some that are picky but not super picky.
  • Put it in front of them without saying anything. Serve their veggies on their plate along with their other food without offering it or mentioning it beforehand.
  • Tell them that they need to at least take a bite of it. This can go hand-in-hand with the previous idea. Say they need to try it before they make a decision about it. If they finish the rest of their food and want more of those, make a deal with them that if they eat their veggies, they can have seconds of the other dishes.

Children will learn to view it as their choice which makes them feel as if they have more control over what they are eating and is usually more constructive long-term as well. Sure, it may take longer for them to even try a food let alone actually eat it, but it gives them a much more positive view of healthy eating… particularly regarding vegetables.

I have used these tactics with my four-and three-year-old nephews for at least a couple years now and have much better results than when forcing them to eat certain fruits and vegetables. My mom also did this with my siblings and I when we were younger and I fully believe that it helped us enjoy healthy foods more. My sister and I especially like a variety of fruits and vegetables. My brother likes a few too, just not as much as us girls. I know for sure that what my mom did helped me and now I love all kinds of healthy foods that even she doesn’t particularly like.

My opinion is that the better a view of healthy eating that your kids have, the better it will serve them and your whole family. So teach them about healthy living and simply encourage them to live a healthier life. Most of the time it doesn’t have to be rocket science to teach our kids good habits!

What do you do with your own children to get them to eat healthier, drink more water, or exercise?

 

~Bonnie~

Advertisements

6 Tips for Thanksgiving Exercise

Holidays + Exercise = nightmare!

Do you find it hard enough to get exercise when there isn’t a holiday or some other big thing going on? So how does one handle healthy living on a holiday?

A couple days ago I shared tips with you regarding stress and eating tips: 8 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving Stress. So check that out if you would like tips on those topics.

Here are some tips for your holiday exercise plan this week:

  • If it works for you, plan your rest day for Thanksgiving instead of your usual day, and then just try to make the day as active as you can.
  • Plan your day ahead of time: making a rough schedule to fit your exercise in around cooking or interaction with others. We all know holidays can be so hectic that we lose track of time or forget to take care of ourselves as well as everyone else.
  • Fit your exercise in early in the day so that you aren’t totally exhausted when you try to do it later. You might prefer to get your exercise in before everyone else wakes up if you have company or small children, otherwise just get it done before all the cooking and festivities start.
  • Walk or dance in place while you cook… just be careful not to scald yourself!
  • Make exercise a family/group activity. Play sports or games outdoors if you can, or break out active games or videos to do indoors. Go for a walk with one or more family/friends. Basically anything that gets your family or group moving instead of sitting and lounging the whole time is a good idea!
  • If you need a breather from the holiday festivities, take your dog for a walk… or take your host’s dog for a walk if you don’t have one and your host does. It is a legitimate excuse to get away and fit some exercise in, while also allowing you a breather from everything else going on.

Most of all, just do your best to fit in your fitness and don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you don’t for some reason. Eat moderately, indulge a little bit (after all it’s Thanksgiving!) and realize that it’s just one day. In the grand scheme of things this one day where you will likely go over your calorie allotment is okay.

What are your exercise plans for the holidays? Since I’m not doing anything the day of and my family doesn’t seem to be holding an actual Thanksgiving meal, I will likely just go about exercise as normal. Not to mention the fact that I will be babysitting my nephews all day that day anyway.

I hope you all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING tomorrow! Be as healthy as possible, but also be flexible and enjoy the day!

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for a post on Thursday afternoon/evening for the 48-hour sale codes on my Be the Best You products!

~Bonnie~

Tip Tuesday- Enjoy Your Journey

The biggest tip I could possibly pass along may actually seem like the simplest:

Enjoy your journey!

This is your journey, and it is so important that you enjoy it as much as you can. The simple part is that in order to enjoy your journey and to keep feeling motivated to continue, all you have to do is find ways to be active that you enjoy doing, and to find healthy (or at least healthier) foods that you enjoy eating.

kaboompics.com_Two apples on the board

Now I’m certain we can all realize that is easier said than done. Sometimes it’s really hard to find things you enjoy doing when you’re building a healthy lifestyle for yourself. My best advice when it’s hard is to experiment and start with the something small. Maybe make a list of things you would like to try or have just never tried before and find interesting, both exercise and food wise. Then give them a try.

Doing a little research beforehand might save you some time and get you off to the right start. I personally love to gather as much information about something as I can without driving myself crazy at the same time, before I delve into an exercise or food. If I don’t do it before, I do it shortly after trying it. Knowledge is power as the saying goes, and it will help you to be prepared so you can get the most out of said exercise or food.

kaboompics.com_Bicycle Handlebar

Another way to enjoy your journey is to realize it is just that, yours. Stop comparing what others are doing to what you’re doing. You have to find what works for you. There is really no one size fits all to weight loss and health. We need to find what works for us individually, things we can stick with long-term. So do things at your own pace, do or don’t do what others are doing, and stick with what works for you.

Lastly, but just as important, is to look for all the positives in each day. From the very beginning I started looking for positives wherever I could. This in no way means that I didn’t feel down or discouraged, because I did and honestly pretty often too. However, I kept searching for the good in my life and in my days. If I couldn’t find anything or I still felt down, I looked forward to the fresh new day that tomorrow would bring. I thought of things I was looking forward to in the near future. It’s tough to retrain our brains to think like that but oh so worth it!

The moral of the story is to find ways to enjoy your journey, make it your own and do your best each day. Keep trying to find what works for you.

~Bonnie~