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How to Start Healthy Eating Habits for Kids?

How to start healthy eating habits for kids

Do you want healthy eating habits for kids? Yes, but how would you get them to do so? Friends and family have personal opinions about it, but what does science have to offer?

Tahoe Springs Water has found effective strategies on constructive habits to make kids drink enough water. We provide you this result on habit formation so as to start healthy eating habits for kids.


What is the Role of Habits in the health of kids?

Raising healthy kids that can study and work well is one of your dreams. You want to do anything for your children, so you might think about their diet. Having a healthy lifestyle is a must for your kids. How to instill healthy eating habits for kids might be bothering your mind. But the word “Habit” could make things easy in the way ahead.

The recent studies indicate the importance of habit in life. Do you think about most of your daily actions? Yes, today, you thought to tie your right shoe before the left. You even thought carefully and planned every move to get the car out of the parking. Most of your daily actions are by habit, not thinking or deciding.

The Power of Habit” By Charles Duhigg shows the structure of habits and their importance in your life. The book reveals that most of our action is by habit not deciding on every single move.

The “Atomic Habits” by James Clear is another book that shows you ways to start new constructive habits and break the bad ones.

That is why you should take the word habit seriously for your kids. Healthy eating habits for kids can become a natural part of them without much trouble.


How to Start Good Eating Habits for kids?

To start healthy eating habits for kids, you should know the structure of habits. The article explains the scientific findings of James Clear and Charles Duhigg.

Duhigg explains that the structure for forming a habit is three phases:

  1. Cue
  2. Routine
  3. Reward


What is the Cue?

The cues are the signs that make you do an action. For instance, whenever you see your sneakers, you find yourself running in the nearest park. Once you spend time with your friend “….”, you tend to smoke or talk about recent economic issues. When you put your cellphone on your desk, you check it a lot. That’s because you see the cue a lot. What if you put your cell phone in another room or your bag. Do you check it a lot this time?

Starting healthy eating habits for kids needs cue. Put the signs available in your house. The following strategies can help you for cues:

  • Eating together as much as possible
  • Providing fruits and vegetables around the house
  • Having healthy snacks for kids
  • Bring children in food shopping
  • Putting a basket of healthy meal on the kid’s desk


Making habit a Routine

Keeping the routine is the second important step, as Duhigg explains. When you start it, make sure it continues. When your kids start responding to cues, you should ensure they continue. Keeping track of the actions can be helpful. You could record the times your children eat fruit and vegetables to make sure the habit is formed.


Give Reward

The third and last part is the reward. When your kids repeat eating healthy, give them what they like and enjoy. The type of reward depends on you and your kids. It could be going to the park, purchasing a new toy they want, etc.

You should repeat the three steps for a while to make sure healthy eating habits for kids have been fixed and formed.

Remember that the three mentioned ways are proved by science.


Make the healthy food obvious

James Clear explains the four strategies to start a new good habit. The first one is making it obvious.

Do you remember once you wanted to read that wonderful book but found it after a while under your bed? What if you have determined a place for your book on your desk and saw it every second? Didn’t you get tempted to open and finish it. You and I tend to forget what we don’t see.

In case you want to start an activity, place the signs in front of yourself. Do you see that some of your colleagues put a bottle of water on their desk? Instead of junk food, provide fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks, or nuts for your children.

My friend used to put all the apples she bought at the end of the fridge. After a little while, she had to throw away all of them rotten. Yet, she used the tricky strategy of making it obvious. She bought a large red beautiful bowl to keep the apples in the living room. Whenever her family moved around, they picked an apple. Soon everybody ate lots of apples a day. It became their habit without thinking about it.

Try to implement the same strategy for your kids. Healthy eating habits for kids means they need to see them available.

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Make attractive eating habits

“The way to stick to a new good habit could be to make it attractive”, Clear indicates. What you know as attractive is different from a kid’s definition. Depending on your kid’s age and interest, you can use the following strategies:


Make mealtimes fun and enjoyable

Show your kid you are interested in healthy foods. They will be more comfortable when you are with them and share the meal. Try to have positive, fun conversations. Then kids feel relaxed and happy, they will enjoy the healthy meal.


Get kids involved

You could get the kids involved in preparing the meal or setting the table. Kids can learn to set the table and have some creativity in doing so.

Appreciate their work and try to encourage their character, not the good action. I got this point from Adam Grant’s book “Originality.” If you want your children to repeat the good work, say something nice that aims their character. For instance, if he/she paints a good picture, say “You are an amazing painter” rather than “The picture is good”. They will more likely repeat the good work again.


Add a bit of Fun

Try to involve children in preparing the food. It will raise their self-confidence and make them interested in trying it. Explain to them the benefits of the food and what useful advantages it holds for them. Watching an informational animation or playing food games could make kids more interesting.

In his Ted Talk, Jamie Oliver shows that kids don’t know the names of some fruits and vegetables. You can introduce healthy vegetables to them and cook simple dishes together.


The easier, the better

Clear says:” When you start doing something hard, you are more likely to stop it after a little while”. How strong your willpower does not matter. Clear proves it with the sample stories in his book.

Now that you want to start healthy eating habits for kids try not to make it hard. “Willpower is like a battery”. The more you use it to resist, the more exhausted and less effective it becomes.

Starting with healthy food your kids like, having nutritious meals once a day can be easily applicable. Trying to be idealistic in setting healthy eating habits for kids might not be easy. Set achievable goals instead and then increase difficulty.


The fourth step you can take is to make healthy eating habits for kids enjoyable and satisfying. This is the part that Charles Duhigg calls the reward. The reward or satisfaction depends on what your kids like.


Be a model to your kids

Your children learn a lot from you. They look up at your behavior and eating habits. Before you try to instill good habits in them, try to begin useful eating habits for yourself.

Kids don’t get it when you have a soda, but they should drink water.


Limit the unhealthy foods

As explained, stopping all the unhealthy food and drinks for kids may not be a good idea. You would better limit added sugar, salt, and saturated fat first as they pose more risk to your kids.

Children might not get good or bad food. You could call the healthy nutritious food “everyday foods” and the less healthy ones “treats.”


Bottom line

It’s good to begin instilling healthy eating habits in kids from the beginning. When their character is forming, you can teach what to eat or drink and how to get used to it.

The article explained effective, simple, and daily steps, so you encourage healthy eating habits for kids every day until becoming part of their life. The point is none of them is a personal opinion, yet scientific findings by New York Times best-selling authors on the structure of habits.

You think about adding nutrients and healthy food, but also consider hydration for your kids. If your kids don’t drink enough water, eating as much healthy food is useless. As your children might not like the taste of tap water, changing water would be a good option.

Tahoe Springs Water has been providing water services in Las Vegas since 1994. Call us at +702-433-4545 to receive alkaline, Spring Mountain water, or purified drinking water right in front of your door with free delivery.

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