Breaking Unhealthy Eating Habits: 3 Ways to Begin
Do your kids have unhealthy eating habits? Teaching your kids healthy eating habits is giving them tools they will use throughout life. Kids who establish healthy eating habits tend to stick with them as adults, and research shows that children who become overweight are more likely to experience weight-related health issues as adults. However, what about those pesky unhealthy eating habits that have already been established? Luckily, change is always possible!
Here are 3 ways to kick those unhealthy habits to the curb.
- Drop the Restrictions. Forbidding food does not work, and labeling food as “good” or bad” will just lead to more issues in the future. The more you restrict a food, the more tempting it will be to children. Instead, focus on adding in a variety of healthy foods, and offering sweets and other less nutrient-dense foods in moderation. Teaching kids that any food can be enjoyed in moderation will enable them to make healthy decisions as an adult.
- Make Healthy Options Easy. It can be difficult to make good decisions when you are hungry! In order to avoid unhealthy last minute decisions, keep healthy food prepared and ready to eat. Cut up fruit and vegetables and store them in the fridge, and let kids snack on them when hungry. Keep a drawer of healthy snacks ready. If your kids fill up on fruits, veggies, nuts and low-fat dairy, they will be much less likely to reach for that candy bar.
- Learn to Like New Foods. If your child really hates a vegetable, do not keep forcing it on them. However, there is such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available that you can experiment until you find some your child likes. Venture into the frozen produce section as well to find more affordable, out of season selections. Make gradual changes, and over time, you might be surprised to find your child choosing healthier foods.
Still struggling with unhealthy food habits? Consider working with our health coaches to find a sustainable eating plan that works for you and your family. Healthy eating can be enjoyable for the whole family!
Dr. Karen Leibowitz
Health and Medical Coach