Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my kids have had their fair share of indulgent meals and sweet treats, and most of their healthy eating habits went right out the window.
There were dinners with family and holiday parties at school.
At church, there was birthday cake for Jesus—and even a goody bag of sweets to take home.
There were Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and candy canes almost everywhere we went.
I tried my best to make sure my kids didn’t go overboard, but I also didn’t make a big deal about it because then food could become a power struggle.
Although there were definitely the sugar highs, meltdowns and at least one stomach ache, it was also an opportunity to teach them how what you eat can affect how you feel physically and emotionally.
Now that the holidays are almost behind us, and we look ahead to 2020, making healthy eating habits a priority for your family this year—and throughout their lives—is a great New Year’s resolution to make.
If you’re looking for easy, realistic ways to get started, here are 60.
BEST HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR KIDS
2. Get enough sleep because lack of sleep can cause overeating.
3. Serve new foods—up to 15 times!—to get your kids to accept them.
4. Eat meals together—it doesn’t have to be dinner!
5. Avoid using food as a bribe or a reward.
7. Go grocery shopping together and let your kids pick out a new vegetable to try.
8. Let your kids pick out new recipes they want to cook with you.
9. Pay attention to portion sizes—and teach them to your kids.
10. Let kids have dessert—even if they didn’t eat their vegetables.
MORE BEST HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR KIDS…
11. Eat at the dinner table—not in the car or on the run.
12. Offer fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack.
13. Serve whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.) instead of refined grains (white bread, white pasta, etc.)
14. Include protein at every meal and snack.
15. Serve more plant-based foods.
16. Include healthy fats in every meal.
18. Serve fish and seafood—it’s good for your kid’s brain.
19. Cut down on sugar foods, sweetened drinks, chocolate milk, juice and added sugars.
20. Read food labels and compare brands.
21. Eat more whole foods.
22. Avoid high-sodium foods.
23. Have a no-TV, no-phone, no-device rule at the dinner table.
24. Teach kids what it feels like to be hungry, satisfied and full.
25. Teach kids how to eat mindfully.
26. Don’t sneak vegetables but find new ways to incorporate them into meals, snacks and desserts.
27. Serve eggs for breakfast—everyday is A-OK!
28. Don’t swear off processed foods entirely but teach balance.
30. Plant a garden.
33. Teach your kids how to bake healthy.
35. Pack healthy school lunches instead of buying lunch.
36. Eat more meals at home.
38. Avoid labeling foods “healthy” and “unhealthy” and “good” or “bad,” which can make forbidden foods even more desirable.
39. Grow herbs indoors.
40. Teach kids how eating certain foods make you feel energized vs. sluggish or sick.
41. Set aside healthy snacks kids can grab themselves.
42. Serve birthday treats that aren’t cupcakes.
43. Offer high-fiber foods your kids will love.
44. Teach kids that they can enjoy everything in moderation.
45. Teach kids how to cope with tough emotions without turning to food.
46. Don’t order off the kids’ menu: order healthy appetizers instead or share a healthy meal.
47. Plant vegetables in a community garden.
49. Be mindful of weekend eating.