If you had weight loss surgery like gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or a LAP-BAND, now's the perfect time to get everyone in your household involved in learning good eating habits. After all, obesity often impacts entire families, which means your children are at risk of becoming overweight or obese.
By encouraging healthy eating for kids, you'll help them develop a positive relationship with food, learn valuable life skills, and enjoy the support that comes with knowing everyone in your family is committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
Here's some ideas to help encourage the kids in your life to eat better:
Get Kids Involved In Meal Planning
Kids love to be a part of decision-making, and they also tend to thrive on structure and stability. Try creating a meal plan for your family so everyone knows what they'll be eating a few days in advance, and if your kids are old enough, be sure to include them in your family meal planning.
Using a simple meal planning calendar or online meal planning app will help reduce food waste and curb the urge to make spontaneous meal choices (like grabbing take-out pizza or hitting the local drive-thru).
Set A Schedule
You already know how following a schedule for your meals and snacks can help curb cravings and keep your blood sugar level - the same goes for kids. A big part of healthy eating for kids is sticking to a set schedule whenever possible, even if that meals a bit of extra planning.
Whether you're heading out to the movies, going to an after-school soccer game, or on a family vacation, making the effort to ensure that everyone maintains a healthy eating schedule will go a long ways towards preventing blood sugar crashes, 'hangry' outbursts, and making poor food choices.
Don't Run A Restaurant
Some parents fall into the trap of preparing separate meals for everyone in their family, transforming their kitchens into mini restaurants! Not only is this exhausting, but it makes it even tougher to encourage kids to eat healthy, balanced meals.
While it's okay to make some minor changes to your menu to fit individual preferences (especially if you're eating a meal that's too strongly spiced for young ones), try to avoid the 'parent trap' of becoming a short order cook in your own home.
Get Excited About Healthy Foods
Kids are often more likely to eat and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables if they've had a chance to visit a farm, orchard, or farmer's market. If you have a chance to visit a local activity farm, fall fair, or other place where kids can learn about where healthy foods actually come from, there's a better chance your kids will be excited to eating natural, low-fat, unprocessed foods.
And if you have a bit of extra space in your backyard, on your patio, or in your kitchen window, why not try growing your own tomatoes, herbs, or other edible plants? Kids love being a part of gardening, especially when they can eat the fruits of their labors!
For More Information, Ask Olde Del Mar Surgical
If you need more information about healthy eating for kids, we're here to help. Contact us here at Olde Del Mar Surgical to speak with our registered dietitian about how you can help your kids develop healthy lifelong eating habits.