My kids aren’t toddlers. They are 5, 8, and 10 and old enough to get their own snacks and even breakfast. Trying to get them to make the right decision is tough. I like to have sweets, chips, and desserts, but as soon as I buy them they’re gone. I’ve been trying some new ways to help them make the right decisions when it comes to snacking.
The first thing I did was go back to toddler mode. It’s easy to get out of the habit of doing things for your kids when they can do it themselves. They don’t need you to cut an apple, they can just grab it out of the refrigerator. But guess what? They still like their apples cut up and when it’s in front of them, they will eat it. I started cutting apples and placing blueberries and cut up pineapple on the table during meals. They had just gotten out of the habit of eating it. The point of this is to help them remember what that delicious food tasted like.
Secondly, I got a huge bowl and put it in the refrigerator. I cut up peppers and cucumbers. I bought olives and grape tomatoes and put them in snack baggies. I also put in cheese sticks and yogurt. Now when they’re looking for a snack it’s right in their face when they open the refrigerator.
Last, and by accident, I was able to teach them that healthy eating can help you in so many ways. My son wrestles. He had a horrible weekend on the mat and couldn’t focus. He was eating donuts and being crazy. I told him I thought the eating probably had a lot to do with it. Throughout the week he made some great food choices, lots of oranges and water. He chose pretzels instead of chips. The next weekend was much different. I took a ton of healthy foods in a cooler bag and told him that he could only eat those items (no concession stand food). There was no complaints and he came in 1st! His focus was fantastic! I explained to all my kids that the same thing would happen with school work too. They definitely got it!
Just changing a few little things made a huge difference. They are all eating much better and seem to be in better moods. Let’s hope we can keep it up!
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