Everyone knows it’s easier to learn new things when you are young. At My Natural Place we feel that teaching kids healthy habits is a must. Here are a few easy ways to get your child on the path to a healthy future.
Teaching toddlers about healthy eating sets them up for a lifetime of positive food choices. While most toddlers are too young to understand the importance of healthy eating in regards to their health, there are several activities you can complete with your toddler to set the educational groundwork for a healthy eater.
1.) Visit a farm, show your child where there food comes from and how it is grown. Explain that milk comes from cows, apples grow on trees and so on. Arrange for your child to pick her own fruits and vegetables from the farm, if possible, and show her how to pick the ripe, nutrient-packed foods, leaving behind the unready or overripe produce.
2.) Take your toddler grocery shopping with you and show him how to select healthy foods. Explain how you know items are a good, healthy choice by showing him the nutritional information on the side of boxed foods. If you eat organic foods, ask him to look for the green and white organic label on items you buy.
3.) Invite your child to make decisions about what he wants to eat by letting him choose between several healthy foods, such as picking green or red grapes or between string beans or peas. You can also ask for their help in weekly menu planning. It gives them some control and less battles at dinner time.
4.) Model healthy eating habits for your toddler when you eat together. Order a salad or a baked dish when dining out instead of choosing fried items. Prepare balanced meals at home and talk to your toddler about why you selected the meal you did. If your child seems interested in your healthy meal when dining out, invite her to try a bite.
5.) Spend time enjoying food together. Invite your toddler into the kitchen while you cook healthy recipes and let him help prepare the food by washing off vegetables or mixing ingredients. Explain why preparing food properly is an important part of healthy eating; for example, note that washing fruits and vegetables gets off all the dirt so you don’t eat it.
By following the above advice, you set up the foundation of healthy, smart food choices that will continue through adolescence and adulthood!