Following on from Monday’s email about the 4 foods I never feed my family, I thought I’d share some of the tips I give the Babes when they tell me that, despite their best efforts, they are struggling to get their family to eat proper non-beige food!
Getting your kids to eat a healthy, balanced diet can be really frustrating, but the best way to ensure that our children don’t spend the rest of their lives worrying about their weight is by educating them now.
What you are working towards is them making the right choices as they become teenagers and young adults. You don’t have to be super strict, you just need to ensure that 80% of the time they are eating healthy, nutritious REAL food!
So how do you convert a veggie hater into a veggie lover? Here are a few of my tried and tested methods:
- Take it slow. Suddenly serving up plates of spinach and sprouts whilst eliminating all goodies from the house will probably cause uproar and most likely, failure. Introduce new foods in small portions before taking away others and don’t give up.
- Invite them to try it, but don’t insist. Make sure you put a small portion on the plate again next time you are having it. Expect it will take several attempts before they try the food. Be patient.
- Remember that children learn from their parents, so leading by example and eating healthily yourself is vital.
- Eating together is a must. If it can’t be everyday then have set nights each week when you do. Even when you don’t all eat together, get your children to eat at a table without the TV/playstation/Ipad/laptop and sit with them.
- Discuss your children’s favourite foods, which new ones they are open to trying and which will make them healthier. Point out the advantages of being healthy – increased sporting ability, clearer skin, healthy weight etc. If your child is overweight avoid saying anything negative. Instead relate foods to their interests.
- If you don’t buy it you can’t eat it. As the parent, you are in control of what is in your weekly shop, so the buck stops with you. Limit the amount of sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks and processed foods you buy. Just a few less treats and a bit more fruit is a good start.
- Have healthy snacks available and offer before you’re asked. Cut up apple spread with cashew nut butter, oatcakes with butter and marmite or feta cheese with olives, or cherry tomatoes and avocado kebabs. (Try to avoid too much dried fruit as it is high in sugar and will stick to their teeth, though better than a bag of Haribo!)
- Let them play with their food! One of my favourite memories is my children making fruit kebabs! It was messy, but they loved it! It’s so much more fun to eat something you have made.
- Get them involved in making REAL food. Even if it’s just cakes to start with, a homemade cake will be far better than a shop bought one full of trans fats, preservatives and additives. Then progress to proper meals.
- Pick- your-own farms are a great day out and brilliant for teaching children where foods come from (not plastic bags or tins on supermarket shelves). When you get home, get them to help clean and prepare them. Take them shopping and let them choose fruits and vegetables that they would like to try. Get them to help you pick out items so they get to know the names of all the good foods.
- Avoid using food to bride, reward or punish. Try to treat food as food, without attaching too much emotion to it. Food shouldn’t be given in times of stress or taken away as a punishment as this can lead to over or under eating in our adult lives.
Accept some days will go well and some days won’t.
Also remember, it’s important you don’t deny them, or yourself, life’s pleasures. An ice cream on a summer day, a biscuit after swimming or hot chocolate after a winter walk are one of life’s many joys.
Just try and get the same enthusiasm for a bowl of strawberries or a juicy satsuma!
Bookings are now open for our next 7 Days of Fat Loss Taster Week starting Monday 13th November. Ready to take your first step to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family?
Click here: https://surreybootcamps.com/tasterweek/
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