There are many philosophies about how to raise your kids. I believe in tapping into the spirit of a child and finding out what they love and what inspires them. Talking to them and asking them to share their thoughts with you starts the understanding of communication.
I don’t believe in the phrase “because I said so!” It’s so important to explain the WHY. If kids understand why they should eat healthy or go to bed on time or brush their teeth etc”¦ they will be more likely to do it willingly. Then you can show them HOW to do all the things that will help make them independent.
It takes a little more time and patience but you will be setting the tone for your relationship with them in a positive way and letting them know that you care about them. If they see that you are taking the time to listen to their questions and share your knowledge with them, they will feel more connected to you and be more respectful. I find that this really works with my kids. There are some great books out there to reinforce your ideas. The books I have used are a series by Angela Royston called My Body- Why Do I Brush My Teeth, Why Do I Sleep, Why Do I Wash My Hands etc”¦
Nutrition is also an important factor in raising your kids. With good nutrition, kids will function better in school and in other areas of their life. Food is their fuel.
Talk to your kids about food and nutrition. Help them understand WHY eating healthy food is good for them and lead by example. If you eat healthy and only keep healthy foods in the house it will be a much easier task to train your kids to eat right. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains are always good.
Getting your kids interested in their nutrition is also a key component. My daughter likes to read the ingredients on the packages of foods. She asks me questions about the ingredients and I try to educate her on what I know and when we don’t know what something is, we look it up and learn about it together.
Encouraging your kids to cook with you or to come up with their own recipes using healthy ingredients can also be a great activity for them to learn about and explore the importance of good food. If they have a hand in preparing the food, chances are they will be more likely to eat what they make.
There are a lot of fun kids cookbooks out there. My daughter loves one called “The Kids Around The World Cookbook” by Deri Robbins. She was interested in what other kids her age eat in different parts of the world and it was a great way to introduce new foods to her. My daughter and son also like to make salads and guacamole. Use the whole grain tortilla chips. They are better for you and taste just as good.
Look for healthy recipes on-line together. They can help you plan menus for the week and let them pack their own lunch for school. They will feel more independent and proud to be doing things “by themselves.”
Grocery shopping with your kids can also be fun. When they know how to read, you can play games with them like asking them to compare the ingredients of two different brands of the same food and figure out which one has better ingredients in it, or “go and find the juice with the least amount of sugar”¦”
Including your kids in making healthy choices empowers them and educates them. This will build confidence and a general respect for their health and well -being. There are many websites you can visit if you are interested in learning more about what foods are good for you and your kids.
You can check out the following:
www.superkidsnutrition.com This website will teach you about super foods and encourage your kids to eat well balanced meals. Your kids will enjoy looking at the site as well.
I hope this information is helpful for you! I would also love to read about your experiences and ways to get your children to eat healthy.