How To Teach Your Child To Love Healthy Food

by Sheri @ Purposeful Habits
62 comments

This post may contain referral links, which means I may receive a small credit, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions remain my own.

You Can Teach Your Child To Love Healthy Food With These Five Simple Tips

As a first time mom, a lot of what I learn is from experiences with my toddler, rather than something I picked up in a baby book.  I have figured out five strategies I want to share with you on how to teach your child to love healthy food. Today, I sat in the living room and watched my little one go to the refrigerator saying “Mama, mama, the duuu-nats! Before I could figure out what he was trying to tell me, he was back in the living carrying a chocolate doughnut in his hand. I wondered for a second what I should do next.

Take the doughnut away from him, or just let him have the sugar chocolate filled doughnut, 30 minutes before going to bed? I let him have it. Today was a very special day for us, we reached another milestone and I was so proud of him. Besides, a little sugar high never hurt anyone right?

When it comes to encouraging kids to make healthy choices, it’s not an easy task. So what’s a parent to do? Don’t buy doughnuts, cookies and chips. If they don’t see it, they can’t eat it, right?

 

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim RohnClick To Tweet

 

My little one knows what he wants to eat and when he wants to eat it. There are times I have made him dinner twice, only to put his food on the table and get “Nein” (No) as a response. His Dad decides he’s got this, makes him something else, again “Nein.” We keep making all these different meals because we believe that if we don’t give him what he likes, then he won’t eat.

Thinking back to my childhood, if I got hungry enough, I would eat whatever it was. So I am pretty sure little man will too.  You have never heard of a child starving to death because his mother refused to feed him junk food, have you?

So how do you go about teaching children to choose and eat healthy food? What can you do to help steer them in the right direction? It’s a process that takes time and creativity. There are plenty of healthy foods that your kids can learn to enjoy. It’s a matter of making gradual changes. Their taste buds will adapt to the changes and could leave your child with a well- developed or even sophisticated palate.Making small changes to the normal routine is key. Here’s how.

 

5 Ways To Teach Your Child To Love Healthy Food

 

1. Have Healthy Foods Ready And Available

Teach your child to love healthy food by making allowing them to be part of decision making purposefulhabits.comTeach your child to love healthy food by making allowing them to be part of decision making purposefulhabits.com

You can teach your child to love healthy food, by stocking your kitchen with fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, and lean protein. You are changing your child’s food choices because you are limiting the availability of junk food and increasing the availability of healthy foods. My little one loves choices. So if all the snacks available are healthy choices, he can still feel as if he is in control of choosing what he eats. It’s a win-win situation. Try having a variety of healthy and easy snacks ready for your kids.

A smoothie with yoghurt and fruit, baked tortilla chips and salsa, sliced apple with peanut butter, string cheese and crackers, yoghurt with granola or saltless pretzels with peanuts. There are so many choices.

 

2. Put Your Kids In Charge Of Packing Their Own Lunch

Teach your child to love healthy food, give children healthy choices

When your child is old enough, say 4th grade, put them in charge of making their own lunch. The rule should be, they can pack anything they want as long as they pack food from all of the food groups.

Kids love the idea of “being in charge”. This will help them make better decisions in the future.
 



 
 

3. Involve Your Children When Grocery Shopping

Teach your child to love healthy food by making healthy food available at all times purposefulhabits.com

My little one just loves to go grocery shopping. Running up and down through the aisles at the supermarket, and tossing all kinds of stuff into the cart. So, if your little one is like mine, and you want to teach your child to love healthy food, allow them to help you while shopping.

Kids can still have treats, but make an agreement with them. They can choose one treat, plus fruit, yoghurt, bread, cereal and type of lunch meat they want. That’s the deal.
Another fun option when you teach your child to love healthy food is to always have a pad of paper with the grocery list. Allow your kids to write down items they want for their school lunch.

This gives them the responsibility of making healthy food decisions for themselves. Hopefully, they will carry the same choices into adulthood.

 

“Health is a relationship between you and your body” ~Terri GuillemetsClick To Tweet

 

4. Make Physical Activity A Part Of Your Family’s Routine

Teach your child to love healthy food by being physically healthy purposefulhabits.com

One thing I don’t love is exercising. I love to dance and I think dance workouts are great but this is not something I do on a regular. It is important to be active with your kids. There are many activities you can do indoors and outdoors. Being more active as a family will improve both physical and emotional health. Help your kids to find activities that they enjoy by showing them different possibilities.

<>center

5. Have Your Entire Family Take Part In Planning And Preparing Meals

Teach your child to love healthy food by making giving them control purposefulhabits.com

 

The more your kids can participate in family meals, the better choices they will be willing to make. Healthy eating is a family project and everyone should be involved. Try to eat together most nights. This is not always possible due to work and sleep schedules. If you cannot manage to do it everyday of the week, pick one day where meal time works for everyone. Plan what to make, purchase the ingredients you need, and sit down to eat together, where the entire family can come together and prepare and eat together.

These five tips should encourage your children, no matter their age, to make healthy food choices.

Use meal and snack times as teachable moments. Don’t get in the habit of forcing your kids to eat foods they don’t like or make them “clean” their plates. Follow these tips to help your child make healthy choices that will last a lifetime. Children learn what they live so if you don’t introduce unhealthy choices, they won’t make them.

What do you do to teach your child to love healthy food? Share with me in the comments section below.

 photo signature_zpsbti9kmbd.png

62 comments

You may also like

Your Thoughts Are Welcome ~ Join The Conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

62 comments

Catarina February 8, 2018 - 20:27

I had the chance when I was a child that my parents taught my how to eat healthily, I remember that the first time I went to Macdonald I was 15 years because my parents never bring me there. So it is very important to teach them why healthy food is so important.

Reply
Candy Rachelle February 7, 2018 - 18:08

Teaching our kids to eat healthy foods in a younger age is such a great idea. and these are some great points. I am thankful that my daughter realy love to eat fruits and green veggies.

Reply
Harsh February 5, 2018 - 08:19

These are some great tips and so important in general to feed our kids right. We always try to keep healthy snacks handy so as to make sure they do not eat anything or everything while traveling.

Reply
shraddhatripathi89 February 3, 2018 - 22:55

I think these are all great tips and very easy to execute also. I loved the first and 2nd one. If parents do eat healthy food then it will make children to have healthy.

Reply
emmanuel damian January 27, 2018 - 06:20

I think the best way is to let your kids be in harhe of their own lunchboxes. They will not waste any food at the same time, they get to enjoy it.

Reply
Befitting Style January 24, 2018 - 08:55

Isn’t he so cute with his ice cream! I think involving kids in the process definitely helps them understand why eating healthy is important!

Reply
Thirty30Courtney January 22, 2018 - 11:21

I don’t have kids but I think my Mom had it pretty easy with me because I was never a sweets person. I love veggies and fruits. Hoping that it passes down to my future kids.

Reply
laurasidestreet January 21, 2018 - 20:41

These are all such fantastic tips and I think it’s something that is really really important – setting a healthy food example for children and showing them the benefits of fresh fruit and veg over sugar filled treats is really important

Laura x

Reply
Lynne Harper January 19, 2018 - 04:29

My smalls are all fussy eaters. One loves fruit but unfortunately allergic to the ones he loves. I do agree that sitting down and enjoying a meal as a family is super important and it definitely encourages good eating habits from an early age

Reply
CourtneyLynne January 16, 2018 - 00:12

Ooo so many awesome tips!!! Imthe mom to the worlds pickiest Eater, and I have learned, the more you let kids play and explore foods, thebetter. Just close your eyes to the mess lol

Reply
Gerome of GD Blog January 14, 2018 - 21:42

These are cool tips to know for moms out there with kids. We don’t have children yet, but I believe that my niece-in-law can benefit from this for her son.

Reply
Kim Lee (@KimsCravings) January 13, 2018 - 12:11

These are such great tips and ones that I could definitely use. Both of my kids are so picky.

Reply
Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life January 14, 2018 - 05:43

If they are picky, what you can do Kim, is to let them pick and choose the great and healthy foods they want.

Reply
Kara January 13, 2018 - 06:33

This is a tricky one isn’t it. I found as the kids have got older they love learning about food and whether it is healthy or not. Mine adore cooking and helping make their own lunchboxes

Reply
Sheri @ A Busy Bee's Life January 14, 2018 - 05:51

That is so great Kara! My little one loves cooking too.

Reply
Ivana Jeknic (@theninebyivana) January 13, 2018 - 05:53

Such a interesting post and very lovely tips. I think it is important from young age to teach kids what is the best for their health, but cheat days are also allowed xo

Reply
Dreamer Achiever January 12, 2018 - 16:25

Lovely tips! I’m so grateful to my mom that we always had fruits and home made food in the fridge. I’m from a small town without much restaurants so I just basically ate what we had at home. Fortunately, it was all healthy and delicious. 🙂

Reply
Siti Aana January 12, 2018 - 16:07

Thank you for such great tips. It gets really hard to teach kids how to pick healthy stuff.

Reply
Alyssa from The Sparkly Life January 12, 2018 - 09:50

oh my gosh I needed this. both of my kids aren’t great eaters—and I have one that is a total sweet tooth!!!

Reply
Joy January 12, 2018 - 00:40

Wow this is such an insightful post. I’ll definitely bookmark this for future reference. Thank you for sharing.

Reply
Namrata January 12, 2018 - 00:38

It’s very important for children to learn about healthy food and nutrition. I agree with all of your points and also we have to be good role models as well .

Reply
Becca Wilson January 11, 2018 - 20:52

Having kids do some of the packing of their own lunches is a great way to get them involved. I try to do this with my son often.

Reply
nadaliebardo January 11, 2018 - 20:26

I don’t even know where to start. First of all I just want to say THANK YOU. I don’t have kids just yet but I am so glad we have the same mind set about being health conscious of what to feed little ones. I love your idea about having them write a grocery list and come shopping, it teaches them some responsibility and they see what goes into making their lunches.

Reply
Jasmin N January 11, 2018 - 17:41

These are absolutely wonderful tips! It’s true, if you’re hungry enough you’ll eat basically what ever there is available haha. For some reason, D’s favourite is broccoli & I’m so proud of him 🙂

Reply
elizabeth allcock January 11, 2018 - 13:15

Great tips! My niece is a really picky eater, but she does love fruit and water.

Reply
toastycritic January 11, 2018 - 13:01

Those really are such excellent tips. I do think having my daughter involved with making her own healthy choices will help her to live a healthier lifestyle later on. And when it comes to having healthy food around the house instead of the bad stuff, it’s always better. If you are going to snack, it may as well be on things that are good to eat. I remember my mom used to be part of a food co-op and we always had fresh fruits and vegetables in the house to snack on. That always made eating better.

Reply
Cee January 11, 2018 - 11:38

Everyone should definitely be involved in meal ideas. It makes it so much easier to plan your grocery shopping too. I need to start trying these tips when it comes to getting myself into the habit of healthy eating.

Reply
Peachy A. January 11, 2018 - 04:47

I am at this point in time where I’ trying to teach my childen about healthy eating. Involving them in grocery shopping and telling them about healthy food really helps.

Reply
Kiwi January 11, 2018 - 04:32

I think some adults need these tips. I think it is more important than ever to keep healthy food ready available in the home!

Reply
Family Review Guide January 11, 2018 - 01:29

This is a great post! I wish I could get my daughter to eat healthier!

Reply
Jennifer L January 11, 2018 - 00:21

These are all such great ways to get kids to love healthier foods. I love taking my small cousins grocery shopping because they get to see all the veggies and fruits and healthy snacks for themselves.

Reply
Angela Milnes January 10, 2018 - 23:52

For me, healthy food was easy to fall in love with! My love for it rubs off onto my kids.

Reply
Leigh Anne Borders January 10, 2018 - 22:00

Great tips! I could really have benefited form this when my kids were younger because I made so many mistake sin the eating area with ym kids. My goal is to help now though with making adjustments.

Reply
Andrea January 10, 2018 - 21:25

These are all super smart ideas! I have been teaching my 7 year old daughter how to cook (from scratch), so she picks the menu for one meal every week. I think it’s a good idea to include her in the entire week though, so I’ll try that next week!

Reply
Christie Brown January 10, 2018 - 20:37

What great ideas! I wish my mum did something like this for us when we were kids – I would have such great habits in adulthood. I like the idea of the kids pacing their own lunches, provided they stick to the one from each food group rule. A great way to teach them! 🙂 x

Reply
Hafsah January 10, 2018 - 19:21

Being healthy is so important for everyone, especially children because that’s where it all begins. Children only learn from their parents and it all starts by teaching them the right way!

Reply
Agentszerozerosetter January 10, 2018 - 17:23

Great tips, easy and funny to follow with children! It’s so important to eat the healthier we can, since young age!

Reply
krissie colton January 10, 2018 - 16:31

We love healthy foods, am currently juicing as part of my daily diets, it’s great as i feel so energetic.

Reply
Marissa Zurfluh January 10, 2018 - 12:22

Oh thank you so much for this. Kids eating healthy at an early age is such an important way to get them off to a great start.

Reply
lavandamichelle January 10, 2018 - 11:47

What I do to encourage healthy eating habits in my girls is to have healthy snack ready. We also to meal planning together and we are purchase cook book with healthy in the title and we add a recipe each week to the menu. these are wonderful tips and I certainly pass this along and add physical activity as part of our routine.

Reply
Nancy at Whispered Inspirations January 10, 2018 - 11:37

Totally on the ball with this one for sure. Leading by example is the #1 most important thing in any scenario. Children are natural mimics.

Reply
Gingermommy January 10, 2018 - 11:21

It is so important that we model a good relationship with food to our children. If we are eating healthy and providing healthy and delicious foods for them to eat, they will learn to make good food choices.

Reply
Ana De-Jesus January 10, 2018 - 08:40

I like the idea of teaching your child to love healthy food by allowing them to be in charge of packing their own lunch. That way they can make their own choices and learn about food groups along the way.

Reply
Mayuri Saxena January 10, 2018 - 07:30

This is such a great post! Fortunately, my daughter only likes healthy food (fruits, veggies and chicken) but sometimes, I want her to have a little bit of comfort food which she rejects. 🙂

Reply
AscendingButterfly January 10, 2018 - 01:38

I do not have children but I do have nieces and nephews and despite the fact I am ‘the strict aunt’ they also consider me the fun one, I make sure they are getting in veggies as it’s easy to sneak them into food they already love loads like Tacos, and small substitutions that are still fun like frozen yogurt instead of frozen ice cream, it works well because as soon as they get out of school on Friday they want to come to my house for a sleepover! 🙂

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

Reply
Gingermommy January 9, 2018 - 21:20

It is so important that we lead by example. If we are making good food choices, chances are that our children will too.

Reply
My Dee Dee's Diary January 9, 2018 - 20:22

These are actually some fantastic tips. My mom used alot of them when my sisters weer younger and now with my niece.

Reply
Joy January 9, 2018 - 20:06

I love everything here, but my favorites are: 3. Involve Your Children When Grocery Shopping; and 5. Have Your Entire Family Take Part In Planning And Preparing Meals. Maybe I should start involving my kids in terms of choosing and preparing our meals. 🙂

Reply
Sarah Bailey January 9, 2018 - 19:40

This sounds like some great advice, I wouldn’t know at all about teaching kids to eat healthy, I don’t even manage it myself that often, though I perhaps live on fruit over the summer.

Reply
momknowsbest15 January 9, 2018 - 17:03

Great tips. I let my kids have one treat a day but they have to eat something healthy first

Reply
Cait January 9, 2018 - 14:56

this is such a great post! i def have a hard time with my toddler but def needing to incorporate healthy food!

Reply
Joanna Davis January 9, 2018 - 14:35

These are great pieces of advice, especially involving the entire family into deciding the meal plan for the following week. Grocery shopping also can be a lot of fun, if done with a list. I can imagine it as a quest, for the children to complete the list and then get excited about the yummy treats mommy will do with the fruits they chosen.

Reply
Shann Eva (@Shanneva) January 9, 2018 - 14:00

So many great tips! My boys love junk food, but I want them to eat healthier. I think the ideas of letting the help during grocery shopping and also meal planning will really help us. We all like to move, so exercise isn’t an issue, at least.

Reply
Family Review Guide January 9, 2018 - 12:59

Thanks for this. It’s so hard to get my child to eat healthy food!

Reply
Amber January 9, 2018 - 12:39

My daughter LOVES her healthy foods. In fact, she prefers fruits to sweets. My son on the other hand? Not so much. But he has autism so certain foods feel weird in his mouth. But he will eat strawberries!

Reply
PinkOddy January 9, 2018 - 12:20

I agree encouraging our children to be healthy is so important – but you will be surprised at how long a child will go without food if they aren’t presented with something they like. I agree though more healthy choices and flexibility of thought – for example we don’t tend to eat meat sandwiches with fruit for breakfast as a general rule here in the UK but it is healthy and if it is what they want then let them have it. Getting outdoors is a big thing for me (I co-host the #outdoorsandhappy community on Instagram) but also I think making exercise part of normal healthy life makes it easier all round (which is why we started with Parkrun).

Reply
Joan Cajic January 9, 2018 - 12:14

These are really great tips I’m lucky that I don’t have to really make my son eat healthy because he eats what I bring to the table and might just refuse anything slimy or sticky or if he has to touch with his hands, but I still need to improve on that and be able to fix it.

Reply
jeanettereneeblog January 9, 2018 - 11:46

Wonderful tips and tricks! I love feeding my kids healthy and to love healthy food.

Reply
Jessica Taylor January 9, 2018 - 10:59

Thankfully my daughter LOVES healthy food. She will choose fruit over snacks any day! I am lucky!

Reply
Liza @ City Mum Life January 9, 2018 - 10:04

These are great tips! My son is definitely a fussy eater, once he’s old enough to understand a little more ill definitely be using some of these suggestions.

Reply
Kim January 9, 2018 - 09:41

These are so on point! The first point to have healthy food readily available is key in my household. I always try to have healthy snacks ready to go to tide over super hungry little ones. Their patience level isn’t much so it’s imperative to have quick bites of fruit or yogurt pops ready!

Reply
karriefrost January 9, 2018 - 09:38

Couldn’t agree more. Children see what we do, and if we are eating healthy, and providing healthy choices, they will choose healthier food. How many languages are you teaching the little guy? ( I love that he said “Nein”)

Reply
%d bloggers like this: