Encouraging Healthy Eating for Your Child

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it can be easy to go crazy with unhealthy food. We get it — sometimes it’s warranted! But if you want your child to maintain good eating habits this Thanksgiving, you’ll want to limit the pies, fats, sugars, and all other bad stuff they may intake during the holidays. Here are some ways to encourage healthy eating for your child this holiday season.

Teach the Importance of Hydration

When it comes to encouraging healthy eating, it’s important to emphasize the importance of hydration — especially ahead of Thanksgiving. Your child’s growth and development depends on adequate hydration. Water is important, as it helps regulate body temperature by carrying heat away from our bodies when we sweat to cool off.

Water also makes up a majority of our body weight and assists with its many processes. Staying properly hydrated keeps the brain functioning properly; helps prevent muscle cramps; prevents constipation; regulates body temperature; keeps joints lubricated; helps maintain healthy skin appearance; supports immune system function; maintains healthy blood pressure levels and many other functions essential to good health.

It can be tempting as a kid to drink juice and other sugary drinks, but as a parent, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Encourage your child to drink water before meals as well as after meals. This will help fill their stomachs with a less dense liquid which may reduce overeating later on in the day or week!

Incorporate More Fruits into the Thanksgiving Dinner

Healthy EatingAnother way to incorporate healthy eating into your child’s life is adding more fruits to their diet. This can even happen at Thanksgiving! Instead of prepackaged or processed foods, you can offer your children fruits. Fruits often have natural sugars that can help curb that desire for sugary snacks.

It’s important that your children be exposed to a wide variety of healthy foods when they are little. You can start doing this by offering fruits as snacks, desserts and side dishes at home. Fruits provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you need for good health. Fruit also provides fiber which helps you feel full longer between meals.

We recommend including fruit in the Thanksgiving dinner menu if possible because it will give them something healthy to eat while they are waiting for the main course! Make sure that they don’t fill up on too much fruit before the main course begins, though!

Healthy Eating Occurs Year-Round

It’s important to note that healthy eating occurs year-round. Of course, it’s fine to incorporate some cheat snacks and meals in there, but overall, healthy eating doesn’t have to be a painful thing throughout the year. In fact, healthy eating is a lifelong habit, not just something you do during the holidays or summer. Here are some tips to help you encourage your child to eat healthy year-round:

  • Serve veggies first and offer fruits as an alternative to dessert.
  • Encourage your child to take small portions of different foods so they can sample everything on their plate.
  • Avoid consistently using sweets as a reward for good behavior or accomplishments, such as completing chores or getting good grades in school (this teaches children that sweets are more important than other things).