Finding the right foods your child will actually want to eat can be a difficult balancing act. Kids grow so fast and what they eat is incredibly important to their physical, mental and emotional health. One of the best steps a parent can take to raise food-smart, health conscious kids is to teach them about nutrition.

While most parents agree healthy proteins and vegetables should be the staples in a child’s diet, sometimes it’s hard to get them to eat what their bodies need (fruits and vegetables), rather than what they want (sugar, lollies, chocolate!)

Teaching your kids healthy eating habits and encouraging them to exercise with you sets the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle into the future. Maintaining a balanced diet reinforces a positive relationship with food.

Below are some of Hopewood’s top tips for encouraging your children to eat the right food:

1. Set a good example – it’s no secret that children mimic what they see their parents doing. Be an advocate when it comes to healthy foods and lifestyle and practice what you preach by making healthy choices at home.
2. Avoid nagging – Constantly nagging children about eating healthy foods is likely to deter them from making good food choices. Give them a variety of healthy food options and allow them to make their own decisions.
3. Keep healthy foods on hand – stock your pantry and fridge with healthy snacks such carrot and celery sticks, fresh fruit, cheese, home made bran muffins or granola.
4. Redirect to healthier options – if your child is craving a sweet treat, offer fresh berries instead of sweets. Redirecting them to healthier options will help to deter temptation for unhealthy foods in the future.
5. Reward healthy choices – give your kids plenty of praise when they choose healthy options.

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