Save 15% + FREE shipping when you Subscribe & Save. SHOP NOW

5 Tips for Teaching Kids About Healthy Foods

Published May 13, 2024

share this article

Instilling healthy eating habits in kids from a young age is essential for their long-term well-being. However, teaching kids about healthy foods can sometimes be challenging. With the right strategies and guidance, parents and caregivers can help their little ones develop a positive relationship with nutritious foods. Here are five of our top tips for teaching kiddos about healthy eating.

1. Lead by Example

Research suggests that parents' eating behaviors significantly influence their kids' food preferences and dietary habits. Studies have found that kids are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables if their parents regularly eat these foods. Set a positive example by incorporating a variety of healthy foods into family meals and snacks, demonstrating the importance of balanced nutrition.

2. Make Healthy Eating Fun and Interactive 

Engage kids in the food selection and preparation process to make learning about healthy foods enjoyable. Involving kids in cooking activities can increase their willingness to try new foods and develop healthier eating habits. Create opportunities for kiddos to participate in grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking activities tailored to their age and abilities.

3. Provide Healthy Foods in a Variety of Colors

Encourage kids to eat a diverse range of colorful fruits and vegetables, as each hue represents a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that greater fruit and vegetable diversity was associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases in adults. Teach kiddos about the health benefits of different-colored produce and challenge them to try new varieties regularly.

4. Educate About Nutrient Functions

Help kids understand the importance of various nutrients for their growth and development. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior suggests that nutrition education programs emphasizing nutrient functions can positively influence children's dietary choices. Teach kiddos about the roles of nutrients like calcium for strong bones, fiber for digestive health, and vitamin C for immune function to empower them to make informed food choices.

5. Practice Mindful Eating

Encourage kids to pay attention to their hunger and fullness cues and eat mindfully. Mindful eating practices can promote healthier eating behaviors and reduce overeating in kids. Encourage kiddos to savor each bite, chew their food slowly, and listen to their bodies to foster a positive relationship with eating and food.

Summary

Teaching kiddos about healthy foods involves leading by example, making it fun and interactive, exploring a rainbow of colors, educating about nutrient functions, and practicing mindful eating. These strategies can empower kids to make healthier food choices and develop lifelong habits that promote overall well-being. 

References

  • Birch, L. L., et al. (1998). Appetite, 31(1), 111-128.
  • Dave, J. M., et al. (2009). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 41(2), 79-86.
  • Boeing, H., et al. (2012). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(5), 1177-1184.
  • Contento, I. R., et al. (2015). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(5), 385-392.
  • Lytle, L. A., et al. (2013). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(9), 1202-1207.

View Citation

  • Birch, L. L., et al. (1998). Appetite, 31(1), 111-128.
  • Dave, J. M., et al. (2009). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 41(2), 79-86.
  • Boeing, H., et al. (2012). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(5), 1177-1184.
  • Contento, I. R., et al. (2015). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(5), 385-392.
  • Lytle, L. A., et al. (2013). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(9), 1202-1207.
Reviews