Teaching Balance

After letting our sweet tooth take over on Tuesday with our celebration of all things sweet, we are back to focus on mixing in those sweets into a balanced diet.

Creating and sticking to a healthy, balanced nutrition plan as a family is one of the hardest action plans many of us will ever try. It’s crucial to provide healthy, balanced meals for our children as they grow – both physically but also develop their own tastes and eating habits. Good thing MakIt is here to help out! Parents.com shares ways to help your children and family eat better. MakIt is adding to that list with some ways below to teach your children how to eat a balanced diet!

1. Maintain a neutral attitude – This one item is listed on many parenting blogs about the best way to approach sweets and a balanced diet. Don’t play “food enforcer” as some say, because there’s a good chance your child will push back on those items. Instead, encourage them to eat certain things but don’t force the issue.

2. Have your children help you shop! – A trip to the grocery store or local farmers’ market will introduce your children to new foods full of fresh smells and textures. Allow them to help you pick out certain fruits and vegetables to cook and let them take ownership later of “choosing” this ingredient or that one.

3. Have a “Chef” Join You in the Kitchen – Invite your children to cook alongside you in the kitchen. If you want to make it really fun, try surprising them with their own apron or chefs hat. This will help introduce them to everything going into the meal and earn an appreciation for healthy ingredients.

4. Keep a Positive Mindset – Don’t focus on foods that are “off-limits.” Instead focus on foods that you want more of! Fish, chicken, fruits, and veggies. Cook healthy options and allow your children to choose options, giving them ownership – and not ending up with only Oreo’s for dinner 🙂

5. Never skip breakfast – It’s the most important meal of the day! Start every morning with a good breakfast, low on sugar, to help keep your child full and active most of the day. Parents, take special note of this too – no skipping breakfast for you either 🙂

6. Don’t hide from sweets! – But only in moderation and only 1-2 days per week! A small amount of sugar will help with any cravings without completely wrecking a balanced diet. Instead of thinking of sweets as a “bad thing,” consider them an addition to your child’s diet when given in small doses or as a reward!

What do you think about these steps? Do you have different ways to encourage a balanced diet for your children?

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