One of the best ways to get your child to start eating healthy food during vacation is by packing their meals with healthy snacks and foods. This way, they’ll be more likely to eat healthier foods when they’re hungry. Try packing fruits, vegetables, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat yoghurt or cheese as snacks.
Holidays offer opportunities to relax, enjoy the company of family and friends, and create lasting memories.
While some families choose to spend their holidays at home, others travel to different places to enjoy different scenery and experiences. No matter where you spend your holiday, there are always activities that the whole family can enjoy together.
Involve your child in setting up a routine
It is also a good idea to involve your child in setting up the new routine. This will help them feel ownership over it and be more likely to follow it. You can start by sitting down together and making a list of activities that need to be done each day. Then you can let your child choose which order they would like to do them in. A new routine will have some similarities to the old one but it will also be different in some ways. The important thing is that it is followed consistently. This will help your child feel secure and know what to expect each day.
Let your kids help you while making breakfast or dinner
Let your kids help you with dinner. This will teach them how to follow recipes, and most importantly be patient! Travel with your kids and let them enjoy the native culture, cuisine and people.
When travelling with young children, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks. Healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, yoghurt, cheese and crackers are all good choices. Drinks such as water, milk and 100% fruit juice will keep kids hydrated and satisfied. Pack enough food so that you don’t have to rely on fast food restaurants.
Be sure to schedule plenty of down time during your trip. Kids need time to rest, relax and recharge. A good rule of thumb is to plan for one hour of down time for every two hours of activity. This will help prevent meltdowns and crankiness.
Make sure your accommodations are kid-friendly. Ask about cribs, rollaway beds and other amenities when you make your reservations. Be sure to bring along any special items that your child needs such as a favourite blanket or stuffed animal.
Kids love to eat what they have cooked themselves. It gives them a sense of pride and achievement. So, get them involved in cooking as well. It will also help develop their fine motor skills.
Even if it’s just helping you chop vegetables or whisk the batter, let them do it.
And, don’t forget to praise them for their efforts.
Do the maths
Whenever you’re out shopping, help your child calculate how much money they would save if they bought a smaller packet or less of something. For example, a 1 litre milk packet will serve 4 people whereas 500 ml will serve 2. So, buying the former (if the price per litre is lower) is obviously a better deal and will help them understand the value of money.
Play some active games together at home like carrom, UNO, snakes and ladders, and hopscotch. You could even go out for a run, a bicycle ride, a game of badminton or football. Just make sure you’re both sweating it out by the end of the game.
This is the best way to monitor what and how much your child is eating. If they’re older, get them involved in meal prep too so they understand the importance of a balanced diet. Try and make mealtimes fun by chatting about things other than food as well.
Set an example
If you want your children to eat healthy and exercise, you need to set an example yourself. Show them that you’re making healthy choices and encourage them to do the same. After all, children learn best by observing their parents.
Set an example for your children by consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods, and let them see you enjoying it. Doing so will make them more likely to want to try these foods themselves.
In addition, avoid placing too much emphasis on the ‘health’ aspect of healthy eating. Kids are more likely to form positive associations with food if they don’t see it as a chore. Instead, focus on the social and emotional benefits of eating together as a family.
Encourage exploration and experimentation
Let your kids get involved in the kitchen! Encourage them to experiment with new foods and flavours. This will not only make mealtime more fun, but it will also help them develop a positive attitude towards trying new things.
If your child is hesitant to try a certain food, start by offering a small amount. Once they’ve tried it, encourage them to tell you what they liked or didn’t like about the experience. Over time, they’ll be more likely to try new foods if they know they can provide feedback without judgement.
Make it fun
Eating should be a positive experience for kids! Use your imagination to make mealtime more enjoyable. Serve food in fun shapes, use colourful plates and utensils, and play upbeat music in the background.
You can also involve your kids in meal planning and preparation. Ask them to help you choose recipes, select ingredients, and even cook alongside you. By making meals a team effort, you’ll help your kids develop a lifelong love of healthy eating.
Tips to stock healthy food at home
- Make a list of all the snacks that your child likes to eat. This will help you in zeroing down on healthy options.
- Choose snacks that are high in fibre and protein, and low in sugar.
- Keep a variety of snacks handy so that your child doesn’t get bored of eating the same thing every day.
- Encourage your child to eat healthy snacks by setting a good example yourself.
- Get your child involved in the process of choosing and preparing snacks. This will help them develop a healthy relationship with food.
Another way to make mealtime fun is by playing games. You can play simple games like I Spy or 20 Questions with your kids while they are eating. This will help them to focus on their food and also have some fun.
So, next time when you sit down for a meal with your kids, don’t forget to make it fun. Because a happy mealtime means happy and healthy kids.
Some of the best schools in Gurgaon incorporate healthy food and nutrition in academics. Parents can continue the good work during the vacations. This is relevant for children of all ages – younger children in pre nursery school, nursery school and kindergarten are exposed to cold cooking. As children grow older they can be exposed to hot food as well. Cooking with parents is a great way to learn, and to understand ingredients that go into their food and meet their associated nutritional needs. This is valuable information worth its weight in gold!
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