Who says resolutions are just for adults? The new year is coming up, so it’s also the perfect time to create new beginnings for children. As 2016 gets closer, sit down with your children and create goals for the year ahead.
It is important to tie what children eat with outcomes they want to achieve. To help children reach these goals, an important step is to teach them why and how to make nutritious choices. Children will “buy in” to new actions if they understand why the new actions are important. There are thousands of biochemical reactions in the body that help transform healthy muscles, bones, brain, teeth, and skin. Each reaction requires minerals and nutrients from our foods. When children eat healthy food, skin glows, hair shines, the brain remembers more for important exams, and the heart and muscles can work harder when playing sports.
Here are tips to help teach children how to make nutritious choices. Remember, children will “buy in” even more when they see their role-model parents doing it, too!
- Eat breakfast. Studies show that when children eat breakfast they exhibit better behavior, score higher on tests, and are less hyperactive than children who skipped breakfast.
- Visit a farmers market. Ask kids to smell the fruit, look at the colors, and pick one or two fruits they like. Fruits are designed to entice us to crave all the “good stuff” locked inside them.
- Spices and herbs are lots of fun to taste and smell. Spice up your child’s favorite dish with them.
- Go to the grocery store. Show kids how to read labels and let them pick out nutritious foods.
- Buy a juicer and have fun making treats. Some juicers even make ice cream out of frozen fruit!
- Prepare menus and meals together during the week.
- Host a cooking party for teenagers as a fun way to encourage them to cook (and they always love to eat).
- Use a good natural sweetener. Raw sugar, darkest maple, and agave syrups taste good, and the dark syrups are filled with B vitamins and minerals.
- Give your kids whole-food supplements. These contain multi-vitamins from foods kids know, such as beets, carrots and mushrooms.