How to Introduce Children to Healthy Eating from an Early Age

How to Introduce Children to Healthy Eating from an Early Age

Emily Chin

It’s important to introduce children to healthy eating from an early age, as it really helps to set them up with a good habit for life. If you don’t take the time to instil healthy eating in their psyches when they’re young, it will be much harder for them to develop these good routines later in life. Eating the right foods will also have a positive effect on a toddler’s energy, mood and mind functioning.

Don’t Let Them Get Hooked On Sugar

In the first three years of life, a child’s tastebuds start to develop, so it’s vital that you train them to enjoy healthy foods rather than become hooked on sugar. Sometimes it can feel easier just to give in to a young cranky child at the supermarket by allowing them to eat sweets and chocolates, but too much of these foods will predispose them to an unhealthy sugar habit and perhaps also an unhealthy weight gain.

The 5 Essential Healthy Food Groups

For children to be at the weight that’s right for their bodies, they need to eat nutritious food like fruits and vegetables. The five essential food groups include not only fruit and vegetables but also proteins such as lean meat and nuts, dairy and grains. Teaching young children about healthy foods is a great idea for child care centres, as they can either introduce healthy eating to them for the first time or reinforce what they’re learning at home.

How to Make Healthy Food Fun for Kids at Home or At Child Care Centres

The secret to getting kids to like and actually eat healthy food is to make it fun! Here are some ways of preparing and presenting food to make it more appealing to kids. These tips apply equally to parents and early childhood teachers who want to encourage healthy eating in young children:

  • Make smoothies – Filled with fruit and dairy, smoothies taste sweet yet still deliver essential nutrients to little bodies. Sneak in some baby spinach and oats for extra greens and fibre!
  • Create a picture on a plate – Get creative with how you present veggies. Make a picture of a face or a landscape with different coloured veggies − kids love being entertained while they eat!
  • Get them to put fruit on a stick – Fruit kebabs are great fun to make. You can pre-cut the fruit for children to then put the fruits on the kebab.
  • Give them ice cool snacks – Freeze fresh juice in an ice cube tray with lollipop sticks for a relatively healthy and fun treat.

These are just a few ideas for getting kids to eat healthy food. The main idea is to swap out unhealthy dietary items for similar healthier treats and make nutritious food look more appealing. You can also search online for more healthy food ideas for kids.

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Published In : Education
About The Author
Emily Chin - Marketing Executive Xap at Technologies Pty Ltd- With a linguistic and graphic design background, Emily has worked extensively with children. Emily focuses on bringing customer driven solutions to KidsXap’s clients.
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