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7 Tips for Starting Kids Early With Healthy Choices

I spent a lot of time reading MANY articles about creating healthy habits for kids during my pregnancy. It is so important to me to establish those good behaviors early so Evan does not face the same struggles I have with my weight. All of it boiled down to the kitchen and the choices I made. Over the years, my husband and I have worked so well together to create an environment that encourages healthy choices. Evan is a very good eater — of course, that’s just another reason why he’s just like his daddy! Here are a few things I believe helped us encourage his healthy habits!


1. Fun flavors. Expose kids to a variety of flavors. Introducing food to our kiddos is fun, so start early. Start basic and think of the rainbow. Whether you’re making your own baby food (SUPER easy!) or offering already made, stick to colorful options. Not a fan of peas? That’s okay! Your little one may be!

2. Share! Share your food when kids display interest. Having something you don’t think your tot will like? Offer it anyway. You may be surprised. My mister likes olives! Not a favorite of mine but he snuck one off of daddy’s plate and it turned into another bonding moment!

3. Serve what you’re eating. No need to make a separate meal. It sets a precedence and bonds the family over a meal. Also, less sweat for mama!

4. Play hard and be active. Monkey see, monkey do. Show kids that healthy happens outside of the kitchen also. Encourage movement by going for nightly family walks!

5. Think three steps ahead. If you’re going to the park, or will be out and about, pack a lunch/snack and avoid the drive-thru. Make healthy options available. Running to the store quickly? Slice up some grapes and a banana; they’re easy to travel with and won’t go bad away from cold temperatures!

6. No fear. Try not to scare them! Don’t introduce a food with “if you don’t like it” or “you don’t have to finish it all, just try it.” Offer their plate for dinner and talk about what is on it. Hype it up! Healthy is happy!

7. When in doubt, throw it in a smoothie. My little guy gets excited when he hears the Ninja purr! Spinach causes a funny face for him when eating it sautéed but he LOVES his smoothies and well, mama gets a little sneaky! Smoothies are fun, too. Include your tot, let them put the ingredients into the pitcher and be a part of the process. It shows that healthy is also fun!

How do you encourage healthy habits with your little ones? —Jennifer

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