Kids and Cooking: Teaching Healthy Habits Now
By Genevieve Cunningham
Keeping kids healthy is a challenge. Kids are a ton of fun, but they're certainly not overly concerned with a good diet or regular exercise. They're far more interested in chicken nuggets, candy, and all the sweet drinks they can find. But if we want to give our children a fighting chance at living a healthy life, we have to teach them good habits now. So where do we begin? A great place to start is in the kitchen! If you would like to teach your kids good habits, take a look at how you can incorporate healthy cooking into your child's normal routine.
Do It Together
Sure, it's a chore to include your kids. It takes more time. It makes a bigger mess. It might require you to concede on the appearance of the food. But seriously, allowing kids to help you actually cook is one of the best ways to instill good habits. Kids learn by doing. They're hands-on by nature. Let them choose some recipes. Discuss nutrition with them. Take them grocery shopping. The more you let kids in on the process, the more likely they are to internalize the habit and carry it with them into the future.
There are more and more kids' cooking classes available. And the classes are geared toward teaching your kids the basics in a friendly and fun way. If you want your kids to learn, sign them up and take them to someone who can teach them what they need to know. Sometimes it's hard for kids to listen to mom and dad, but a teacher might be able to get through to them. And they'll also be able to interact with other kids learning the same things! If there are any classes near you, consider giving them a try to develop a real love for cooking.
Don't Be Too Strict
Being too strict with kids almost always backfires. Kids need independence and freedom. If you want to teach your kids to eat healthy, teach them how to indulge in a healthy manner too. Let them plan desserts. Let them choose a cheat meal. Kids don't have to eat perfectly. Let them be kids! Lay down some rules, allow for some fun, and your kids may learn all they need for a healthy life.
Teaching your kids healthy cooking habits may require you to adjust your eating habits too, but maybe that's a good thing. Use the time to bond, learn new healthy recipes, practice your cooking skills, and build lifelong memories. With a few good habits, your whole family may be eating healthy, living healthy, and carrying better health with them into the future.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Glen Carbon, Ill.