I am sure some of you parents can relate to the meal time battles that I would have with my kids when it came to getting them to eat their meals and god forbid to not just want pizza or to smother everything they eat in ketchup. Now I am not saying your kids should be brought up just on healthy foods. They are only kids once and I am more than happy for my kids every once in a while to have some pizza, Pringles and chicken nuggets, but I try to keep it in moderation. While it’s not easy and no two kids are the same, here are some things that helped me to get my kids to stop raiding the snack drawer and to eat better.
Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthier: Eat Healthy Yourself
Be a good food role model. After all it’s unfair of you to expect your kids to eat those vegetables that are in front of them if you are chowing down on a hamburger isn’t it? Be a good role model and tell them how good food will help make them grow, be strong and be smart. Eat together and this brings me to my next point.
Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthier: You Are Not A Short Order Cook
There was a time when at dinner time I would cook what I was having, what my wife was having and then something else for the kids. Not only was this a royal pain in the butt, it’s also absolutely crazy, I have since learned many families eat this way. Well this needs to stop. Make one meal that the whole family can eat. No special orders, no different meals for everyone. Eat as a family and eat healthy as a family.
Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthier: Have Meal Time Rules
Now I am not saying that your meal times should be run like you are some kind of military dictator. But when my kids were not eating good and messing around at meal times, it was my own doing. They could come and go from the table as they please. They could eat a few bites and then say they were done and run for the snack drawer. For an easy life I let them get away with it and that was my fault not theirs. So I changed it to being they had to ask to leave the table and they could only leave to go to the bathroom. And they had to wait until we were all finished until they could be excused. And they had to eat all of their meal (or at least a decent amount) before they could have a snack. Let me tell you this was far from easy to implement, but over time it worked and I found that they ate much better when we had some rules for meal times.
Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthier: Limit The Snacks
I bet more than a few of you can relate to my situation with my son. He would come home after school, grab a bag of Doritos, soda and god knows what else and then head up to his room to play Xbox for a few hours. How on earth could I expect him to eat his main meal if he has filled up on junk? Junk that I bought in the store and then put in the snack drawer! Over time I started to reduce the amount of junk food and replace it with things like bananas and apples. And over time my son would go grab an apple as a snack and think nothing of it. Do not get me wrong we do still have some snacks, but it’s now a much more sensible amount. A side note on this is do not make the mistake I did when I tried to cut out snacks. I tried to get them to do it cold turkey and it was a disaster!!!!