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Establishing healthy eating habits in kids is extremely important… and this doesn’t stop if you’re travelling.
It helps to ensure that they maintain the skills to uphold their health and wellbeing throughout their lives.
Staying fit and healthy while travelling may seem like a challenge, especially for kids.
Still, there are many simple things you can do on the road to get kids involved with learning about healthy eating
[and get them excited about incorporating it into a large part of their lives]
Here’s a few tips:
1. Talk openly about the benefits of healthy food
The first, most important way to start the conversation about healthy eating with your kids is to start the conversation!
Kids of any age can learn about the benefits of healthy food.
Engaging in a dialogue that is honest and open will encourage kids:
It will encourage them to have healthy eating habits AND to have a positive relationship towards food.
They can carry this throughout their lives.
Make mealtimes a fun time for the family:
Get together and debrief about your day of adventures while also enjoying the food that you eat.
Incorporate little bits of information on the food you are eating into the conversation…
…and explain to kids how it can benefit your body.
Gently reinforcing these ideas in kids will ensure that they are aware of what the food they eat does for their bodies.
And, it will encourage them to prioritise healthy eating in the future.
2. Switch up your cooking routine
Repetition can be boring.
It may be easier to stick to the recipes that you know and love every day
(especially after a busy day of travelling).
But, introducing kids to a wide range of different meals and cuisine types is hugely beneficial (and delicious).
Trying a variety of new flavours is a great way to allow kids to develop their own unique taste:
It also helps them to understand that healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland and boring… it can be an exciting activity.
Allow your kids to see and understand what you are cooking (and letting them help out when appropriate):
This is a great way to demonstrate that cooking can be a fun way to express your creativity while simultaneously doing what’s best for your body.
3. Involve them in the decision-making process
Let kids see the decision-making process that goes into choosing healthy meals:
This can be beneficial for instilling healthy attitudes in them.
Regularly expose them to your shopping trips when travelling (and the choices that you make when eating out)…
…because this allows them to see what consistently putting healthy options on your plate looks like.
After you’ve tried a few of these methods and have introduced ideas about what it takes to uphold a healthy lifestyle to them?
Let the kids show off what they’ve learnt!
Give them the chance to help plan the meals for the day or the week on your next shopping trip:
This will really involve them in the practice of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
4. Show them how you manage your diet
One of the best ways to set healthy eating habit is to lead by example.
Introduce the kids to the methods you use for managing your eating…
…whether that is a food diary, meal planning or another method that you’ve developed.
Setting an example is essential for ensuring that they are informed about the variety of ways they can maintain a healthy diet.
5. Listen to their likes and dislikes
It’s important that you’re listening to kids about what foods they like.
Forcing them to eat healthy foods that they hate will only discourage them from choosing healthy options in the future.
Allow them to explore what flavours they do like, or at least tolerate, and try experimenting with them in new ways.
This will help kids maintain the attitude that healthy eating is fun, creative, and can be done in a variety of ways.
Avoid instilling the idea that healthy eating is a punishment:
Instead, nurture their unique tastes.
6. Allow for treats occasionally, but not too often
Everybody is allowed a treat every now and then.
Having a couple pieces of chocolate or a cookie occasionally isn’t going to ruin you or your kids’ diets.
It’s important, however, to reinforce to kids that they are ‘sometimes’ foods
(and are only eaten as a special treat).
It may be tempting to allow treats or ‘discretionary foods’ to become much more frequent when you’re travelling to exciting places.
While this is ok, it’s also important to explain to kids that unhealthy foods are fun to have occasionally…
…but your body will not be happy if you eat them every single day.
Travelling is one of the most exciting activities you can do
[and a great way for kids to learn about all kinds of life skills… including healthy eating]
Having open conversations about what you’re eating and how important it is for fuelling your bodies is essential:
It will ensure that kids develop healthy eating habits that they can maintain throughout their lives.