Getting Kids to Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

Getting kids to adopt healthy eating habits is not always easy. ‘Healthy eating’ often involves consuming foods that are perceived as being ‘bland’. And kids are likely to resist the consumption of such foods – for they prefer ‘tastier’ stuff. On the other hand, healthy eating often entails giving up (or at least minimizing) the consumption of certain foods that are perceived as being ‘tasty’. Kids are naturally drawn to such foods, and getting them to give them up — or at least minimize — their consumption, can be very hard. Therefore, you are likely to encounter resistance, while trying to get your kids to adopt healthy eating habits. But there are certain strategies you can use you can use to help your kids along this path:

Show the kids the benefits they stand to get from healthy eating

The kids are (for the most part) rational beings. If you show them the benefits they stand to get from healthy eating, they will be inclined to naturally adopt healthy eating habits. So the most important thing here is to show the kids why adopting healthy eating would be to their advantage. Use concepts that the kids can understand. Tell them that if they adopt healthy eating habits, they are likely to grow stronger, have fewer dental problems, be less prone to illness… and so on.

Use persuasion, rather than coercion

When dealing with kids, persuasion often works better than coercion. In any event, coercion can only go so far. Yet the objective is to ensure that the kids follow the healthy eating habits even when you are not around.

Reward the appropriate behavior

The objective here is to have positive motivation. So you reward the appropriate behavior (in terms of healthy eating) so as to reinforce it.

Ensure that the shift to healthy eating is gradual

A gradual shift to healthy eating is likely to be more successful than a sudden shift. By the way, this applies to all sorts of things, even in the corporate workplaces. Like when, for instance, Nordstrom was introducing its web-based HR portal (that is, the Nordstrom employee portal), the shift had to be gradual. The goal was to get the employees to get used to the concept of going to the Nordstrom employee login page, signing in, and accessing their work-related resources there. So getting people to shift from what they are used to requires time. The shift has to be gradual, and this principle also applies when it comes to getting kids to adopt healthy eating habits.

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