Healthy food habits take time to form and time to break. There are quick and simple ways to encourage your kids to form healthy eating habits. Go on, give it a go!
Childhood is the time when children are forming eating habits that they are likely to maintain for life. Therefore it is essential that children be encouraged to eat a wide range of nutritious foods. Of course your child may not like every food you put in front of them, but that is ok, it is unlikely that you enjoy all foods either! I’m sure most of us have a memory of our parents forcing us to finish our plate loaded with veggies of some description.
Children are copycats. A study looking at pre-school children’s food and beverage preferences found they like to mimic their parent’s choices. Most of the children (70%) ‘purchased’ unhealthy foods which was significantly predicted by their parents food purchasing habits (1). The results highlight the importance to expose children at a very early age to healthy eating practices.
(1)Sutherland, L.A., Beavers, D.P., Kupper, L., Bernhardt, A., Heatherton, T., Dalton, M. Like Parent, Like Child: Child Food and Beverage Choices during Role Playing. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008; 162 (11):1063-1069.