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How To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits In Children

Freedom of Knowledge > Parenting > How To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits In Children

As parents, we all know how crucial it is to instill healthy eating habits in our kids. It can be a challenge to get them to choose broccoli over chips, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, it can be done! Here are some tips to encourage healthy eating habits for kids:

Eat Together

Eating together as a family can have a big impact on children’s health and eating habits. When we eat together, children learn healthy eating habits, social skills, and table manners. They are also more likely to try new foods and eat a wider variety of foods. So, make it a routine to have meals as a family, and make sure it’s a positive and pleasant experience for everyone!

Encourage Your Kids to Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Encourage your kids to join in the preparation of meals. They will be more likely to eat what they helped make. You can also involve them in grocery shopping and choosing healthy foods. Give them a choice between two healthy options so that they feel in control, but also are making a healthy choice.

Teach your kids the importance of eating slowly and taking their time to enjoy their food. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full. Eating slowly will help prevent overeating and allow their bodies to regulate their hunger cues.

Make it Fun!

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Make it fun and exciting for your kids! Here are some ideas:

  • Make a game out of trying new foods.
  • Cut fruits and vegetables into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Create colorful and visually appealing meals with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.


Get creative with your meals! Try a Korean bibimbap with a variety of veggies and proteins mixed in, or a chicken fajita bowl with a rainbow of peppers and onions. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and get the whole family involved in the cooking process!

Be a Role Model

Children learn by example. So, it’s important to lead by example and show your kids what healthy eating looks like. Here are a few ways to set a good example:

  • Choose healthy foods and snacks for yourself.
  • Try new foods and be open to new flavors and cuisines.
  • Keep healthy foods visible and within reach, while keeping less healthy options out of sight.

By being a role model, you are showing your kids the importance of healthy eating and setting them up for lifelong healthy habits. Remember, children are always watching and learning from us, so be the change you want to see!

Rewards System

Creating a rewards system can also be a great way to encourage healthy eating habits in kids. Here are a few ideas for rewards:

  • A special activity or outing, like a trip to the zoo or a park.
  • A favorite healthy snack, like a bowl of popcorn or some fresh fruit.
  • An extra 15 minutes of screen time or video games.

Make sure the rewards are age-appropriate and something that your child will look forward to. You can also make a chart or graph to track progress and visually see the rewards accumulate!


What if my child is a picky eater?

Picky eating is normal and common among young children. Be patient and persistent with offering a variety of healthy foods, and try not to pressure or force your child to eat. Involve them in the cooking and grocery shopping process, and make meals fun and enjoyable. If you are concerned, talk to your child’s pediatrician or a registered dietitian for additional guidance.

How can I get my child to eat more vegetables?

One trick is to sneak in vegetables by incorporating them into smoothies, sauces, and casseroles. You can also make them appealing by cutting them into fun shapes or arranging them in a visually pleasing way. And keep offering them! Children may need to try a new food several times before they are willing to eat it.

What should I do if my child only wants to eat junk food?

First, make sure that unhealthy snack options are not readily available in your home. Offer healthy alternatives, and try to make healthy snacks fun and appealing. Involve your child in the cooking and preparation process, and make it a goal to try a new healthy food each week. And remember, moderation is key. Allowing the occasional treat or indulgence is okay, as long as it’s not an everyday occurrence.

What if my child is overweight?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight, talk to their pediatrician or a registered dietitian. They can provide guidance on healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes that may be beneficial. It’s important not to put your child on a restrictive or fad diet, as this can be harmful and may lead to disordered eating behaviors. Encourage healthy habits for the whole family, and focus on gradual and sustainable changes.

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