As a Mom, I am constantly worried if I am doing the right thing with my kids. As a holistic health coach, I am constantly watching what they eat, but trying to do so in a way that still ensures flexibility and takes into account how the world of food is now so that they don’t grow up feeling deprived of sheltered; thus tempted to binge on junk food one day.
My girls are and 15 months. And one thing I have learnt over the past few years is that kids watch EVERYTHING you do! Unlike their teenage years, these little ones actually want to be just like mommy! So I really have to watch what I say and do! That applies to what I eat as well. Kids see what their parents eat and they copy it. Maybe not initially, but your eating habits DO have an impact on theirs.
The most important thing I tell my clients is if you want your kids to eat healthier, the CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU! Our kitchen is filled with healthy, colorful produce. Occasionally, we snack on crackers, cookies, pretzels, etc., and you can bet if I take one, my 3-year old wants one too. But if I take an apple, she’d want that as well! Here are a few hints I’ve found quite successful over the past year with my little ones, that I hope you will too:
1. Keep healthy foods out or at their eye level: Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, Seeds, etc. My daughter LOVES pistachios, snap peas, carrots, broccoli, and any kind of fruit!
2. When you are cooking, have your children help. Get them familiar with food. Young kids can peel the garlic or onion papers off, or wash produce or spin the salad spinner!
3. Always keep some raw veggies you know they love on the table. Cucumbers, celery, carrots, etc. This gives them the choice of what to eat, but ensures they have a healthy option!
4. Most importantly show your kids you enjoy and appreciate what’s on your plate. Take your time to eat, chewing thoroughly and eating slowly. Instilling these good habits early on will help curb digestive issues later in life.