Would you like to curb your kids’ junk food habit and help them make healthier food choices? According to a new study, healthy eating habits begin at home – with mom and dad. Kids eat healthy when parents show them how to choose the right foods – and when they keep junk food out of the cabinets and refrigerators.
Want Healthy Eating Kids? It All Starts at Home
According to results of the 2010 American Kids Survey, which looked at the lifestyle, eating and purchasing habits of 5,000 children between the ages of 6 and 11, mom and dad have a major influence on whether kids eat healthy or whether they become junk food junkies. Kids are more likely to make the right food choices when they don’t have easy access to junk food and when parents emphasize good nutrition at home.
Healthy Eating Habits for Kids: What This Study Found
Some of the insights from this survey were that parents who don’t keep junk food at home or eat it themselves are more likely to have kids who eat healthy. Keeping junk food out of easy reach of young hands not only restricts a child’s access to it, but lets a child know that nutrition is important.
Another insight from the study was that kids whose parents show them how to read nutrition labels are more likely to read them themselves and are less likely to eat foods that have little nutritional value. According to this survey, kids who have parents who read nutrition labels are also more likely to participate in sports.
Healthy Eating Kids Have Parents Who Emphasize Nutrition
When it comes to healthy eating habits for kids, the opposite is also true. Kids who have parents who don’t read labels, buy junk food and de-emphasize nutrition have children who make the wrong food choices and load up on more junk food.
The Take Home Message
Set a good example for your kids. Talk to them about nutrition and encourage them to make the right food choices. Getting them involved in the decision-making process and rewarding them for choosing healthy foods is a good way to alter their eating habits for the better.
Other ideas? Take them to the grocery store and challenge them to pick out healthier foods. Turn it into an educational game. Teach them the upsides of nutrition in a way they can relate to. Emphasize that good nutrition means more energy so they can run faster and play harder. Most kids like that idea.
Let them help out in the kitchen by peeling vegetables and doing other simple tasks. Use that time to talk about the benefits of the food you’re making and how it relates to their health.
Medical News Today. “For Kids, Eating Starts at Home”