Healthy Eating Habits: How it is Developed at Home

Practicing healthy eating habits in the family does not just happen. It is something that is developed over time through repetition and positive reinforcement. At home, there are several ways in which parents can promote healthy eating habits.

Common Strategies that Work

One such strategy is having regular meals together. Family meals can be a predictable routine, but routine can be a source of comfort and stability for both parents and children. It’s also a great time to catch up with one another. Family meals allow parents to introduce new foods to their children and serve as a role model for healthy eating.

That’s why children that are used to eating with their family are more likely to enjoy eating fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. They are also less likely to favour junk foods, as well as smoke, drink alcohol or use prohibited substances. In addition, parents can use family meals as a chance to reconnect with their children. By keeping meals calm and friendly, and by avoiding lectures and arguments, teens may look forward to it amidst their busy schedule.

Make an Effort to Have a Family Meal

So what counts a family meal? It is any time that parents and children eat together. Whether the food is home-cooked or a takeout, strive to make it nutritious. Also, allot time allowance to accommodate everyone’s schedule. If necessary, move dinner at a later time so you can wait for a family member who is running late, or have everyone agree to be at the table at an appointed time. Serving a variety of healthy foods for snacks and meals is also another effective strategy to encourage healthy eating.

Children – especially the young ones who haven’t been exposed to junk foods – will eat just about anything that are available in your home. That’s why it’s important that you take charge by stocking up on healthy foods. Get kids involved. Asking for their help in the kitchen or for their time to accompany you to a supermarket can be a learning experience for them. Your kids would love deciding what kind of fruit to have for dinner. And you can take that as an opportunity to tell your kids about making food choices and planning meals.

Often Overlooked but Equally Effective Strategies

Making room for treats helps make your goal for a healthy lifestyle for your family more plausible. Your kids may feel deprived when you completely eliminate foods that are high in fat or contain high amount of sugar. A treat now and then will not hurt as long as it is regulated. Don’t let food become a source of conflict. No matter how good your intention is for serving healthy foods, don’t force it to your kids. Instead make them decide when they are hungry or when they are full, and what to eat from the foods served.

Bribing them or bargaining with them can be subtle ways of manipulating your child to eat healthy foods. Of course, being a role model will complete the list. The best way to encourage your children to pursue a healthy lifestyle is to do it yourself. Being a role model does not end in showing what you eat, it also involves sharing your attitude towards food.