The eating habits you teach your kids are likely to be the habits they stick to as adults.
By teaching them healthy eating habits and acting as a role model you can have a big impact on how healthy they are later in life.
Meal times provide a great opportunity to demonstrate healthy eating behaviours. Children are more likely to try and like foods they see their parents or carers eating.
Here are some easy tips to make the most of meal times.
It can seem hard to get the family together for a meal at the table. Try and plan for one meal this week to eat together as a family at the table, without any TV. This will give you a chance to try out a new healthy recipe and establish a new eating routine.
Getting more fruit and vegetables into your family’s diet can be as simple as adding a healthy side to a family favourite or an extra piece of fruit to the kids’ lunch box. Experiment and see which new foods they like and you might find yourself establishing new healthy favourites.
When our kids see us snacking outside of mealtimes or eating less healthy food, they want to do the same. Try get into the habit of regular mealtimes. When you do snack, try and stick to healthy snacks like plain popcorn, fruit or wholegrain crisps with healthy dips. Here are some small steps to help you get started as a family.
Your family be may be more interested in food they have chosen or been involved in preparing. Offer different options for healthy meals and let the family choose, or get them cooking with you. Use our tips below to teach the whole family skills in the kitchen.
Getting your family involved in the kitchen is a great way to teach them the skills they need for healthy eating habits. Involve your kids as much as possible so they can learn. In addition to cooking, they can help with planning, shopping and cleaning up, so they know what food they should be buying and how to keep it hygienic.
Here are some hygiene and safety lessons you can teach your kids.
Children are more likely to want food they have prepared. Below are some suggestions for cooking activities that might be appropriate for you kids.
These are just suggestions and your kids may be able to do more or less in the kitchen. Involving children in food preparation may not only enhance their cooking skills, but help develop important life skills such as how to measure and how to follow instructions.
Children learn better when they do things, rather than just watching.
It can be slower and messier when your child first starts to help. Visit the
Raising Children Network to find out ways to cook with your kids and teenagers.
Before you begin to cook you should read the recipe through from beginning to end.
Have equipment and ingredients ready on the table to save a lot of hassle while children are still learning.
Remember, it is okay for your child to make mistakes, that's how they learn!
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