Teaching your child about making nutritious choices when not at home can be a labor intensive job. In today’s day and age it is not uncommon for families to eat out at restaurants and fast food chains. Families are busy today with activities for kids and working, and have gotten lazy and comfortable with not preparing healthy meals. What they fail to recognize, is that children are learning unhealthy eating habits which carry over with them when they are eating away from home. They are not being educated in healthy food choices; this is evident from the percentage of obese children in American today. Let’s look at some helpful tips on what you can do inside your home, to help your child make more nutritious food choices when they’re away from home.
1.Make sure your child or children are eating three well balanced meals daily. This may require that you plan your meals in advance so that you are providing them with healthy nutritious meals. Not just macaroni and cheese with hotdogs. When you provide your children with healthy nutritious meals continuously they begin to learn and appreciate a well balanced diet.
2.Teach your children about proper portion sizes. Many Americans tend to over eat because restaurants provide much larger portion sizes than what would be provided at home. Children don’t naturally know what’s too much so you have to teach them. This is really important as they eat away from home. They will be able to judge for themselves what is too much and when to stop without you having to tell them.
3.Don’t leave it to the school to educate your children about the food pyramid and what kinds of foods their body needs to operate efficiently. They may or may not learn it from their teachers so don’t take the chance. Teach them about their essential 5-a-day, and what foods are good for their bodies and which ones are not. If they know what good food choices are and what they can do for their body, they are more likely to make those good food choices away from home.
4.In your efforts to educate them about making nutritious choices, try to eliminate the unhealthy snacks you have around the house. It’s somewhat of a contradiction if you ask your children to make nutritious food choices, but have all the candy and junk sitting out on the counter. At the same time, make sure you provide small healthy snacks throughout the day. Filling kids up on junk food is not only bad for your body, but doesn’t really fill them up. It just gives them a sugar high and drives you crazy. Even if they are at school most of the day, you can send healthy snacks with them so they’re not starving by the time they come home.
5.Take your kids grocery shopping with you so they can help you choose nutritious foods and snacks. What better way to teach them about healthy foods than by giving them a hands-on experience with choosing it themselves. The more they know about food, the more likely they are to make nutritious food choices away from home.
6.Show them the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. You might be surprised at how many kids love eating vegetables because they look up to Michael Jordan; and you can’t be athletic unless you eat your vegetables. There are plenty of positive role models out there for children to look up to. Healthy eating and proper nutrition can lead to strong bones and muscles, and a longer life.
Teaching your child about making nutritious choices when not at home is easy, if you take the time to show them how to make nutritious choices when they are at home. Practice what you preach and help them live a healthier life.