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Are you having a hard time getting your kids to stop eating so much junk food and start making healthier choices?
I was having such a difficult time getting my kids to eat healthier foods that I was serving them and it seemed that all they wanted to eat was junk food.
They also wouldn’t eat at mealtimes and just wanted to snack constantly.
That is until I made some slight changes in our routines and how I grocery shopped. Now both of my kids make much better choices when choosing foods to eat and they are eating better at mealtimes.
So here are 13 changes I made to make my kids eat healthier and to stop eating junk food. And this even works for picky kids with autism spectrum disorder like mine.
*Disclosure – I am not a doctor. These tips are just the ones that worked with my children. Always consult your child’s pediatrician before making changes to their diet. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
1. Don’t Buy Junk Food
Sometimes as moms, we just try to do what’s easy without even thinking about how we are really contributing to some of the problems our kids are having.
For example. As parents, we are the ones that are supplying the groceries for our families. So if junk food is in the house, it is because we have bought it.
Basically, this means if you don’t buy the non-healthy foods, they won’t be able to eat it.
So next time you go grocery shopping, try to skip the chips, gummies, and sweets. Instead, replace these items with more wholesome options that will support your child’s health.
2. Have A Set Routine
I have said it before and it is really true. Kids thrive on a routine. Just knowing what is expected of them and what and when they can expect things to happen will put them at ease.
So having a set routine of when mealtimes and snacks are scheduled throughout the day will help kids to wait for mealtimes to eat and snack far less.
For our children, we have three set meals a day and one snack time just after getting home from school. This routine has really helped my daughter to stop asking for snacks every time she is bored as well.
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3. Meal Plan For All To See
Having a meal plan set up and planned each week will not only help your budget but also serve as a reminder of what meal you had planned for each day.
And if you have the meal plan on a board like this one on your refrigerator that your kids can read will also know what is for dinner each day. This will help to prevent any tantrums over what everyone wants for dinner since it’s already written down.
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4. Offer Healthy Choices
Kids love to feel like they are making decisions for themselves. It makes them feel empowered and like they are really contributing.
So instead of deciding on which snack to offer them, try to give them a choice of 2 different healthy snacks to pick from.
5. Teach Kids The Differences Between Healthy Food And Junk Food
Of course, as parents, we know the differences between healthy food and junk food, but our kids may not.
So teaching about all of the vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need that come from fresh wholesome foods is a great way to give them an insight into what they are eating.
And in the same way, we can teach them that candy or chips don’t offer those same vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need.
6. Have Healthy Snacks Available
As I said, kids love to have independence. And by having the option to pick their own snacks out by themselves, they feel like they are making the choice to eat healthy for themselves.
And you can make their choice completely healthy by only having healthy snacks at their level.
In our home, we like to have fresh berries, yogurt, and veggies in our fridge where our kids can both reach them.
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7. Fruit bowl
Making this change was really the huge turning point where I saw my kids making the best choices for eating.
Of course, we have always had a fruit bowl with fruits that can be kept at room temperatures like apples, oranges, and bananas, but the bowl was always on the counter and neither of my kids even knew it was there.
So I started keeping a fruit bowl on our kitchen table where both of the kids could access it without help and my kids have been grabbing their snacks from it ever since.
8. Offer Water
Our bodies are made up of mostly water and we need to drink plenty of water each day to flush our bodies out to keep systems running properly.
But many times there are different sodas and juices that kids are attracted to and want to drink. Unfortunately, these drinks are full of tons of sugar and more your kids don’t need.
So instead of buying soda and juices just offer more water to your kids.
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9. Make More Meals At Home
Cooking at home saves so much money compared to eating out – especially for a family.
Also by making meals at home, you can pick and choose which options your kids are getting on their plates.
10. Let Your Kids Help With Prepping And Cooking
Letting your kids help you with preparing and cooking meals, they learn how fresh ingredients are cooked into meals for your family.
Most kids love to help mom or dad with cooking in the kitchen and are able to help with smaller tasks for making a meal.
Next time you’re in the kitchen let your kids help with any mixing, stirring, or sorting for your meal prep.
11. Grow A Garden
If you have the room and the ability to grow a vegetable garden, you absolutely should. Growing your own produce helps to cut the costs of your grocery bill while also teaching your kids exactly where their foods come from.
And getting the kids involved in taking care of vegetable plants gets them more excited to try the fresh produce that they helped to grow.
12. Lead By Example
In parenting one of the best things we can do is lead by example. So if you are drinking plenty of water each day, your kids will be much more likely to want to drink water just like you.
And if you eat as a family your kids will get to see that you are eating the same healthy foods that you have put on their plates.
13. Don’t Give Up
Making these switches may not always be as quick and easy as you want them to just don’t give up. Continue to offer these healthy foods at mealtimes and for snacks. Eventually, your kids will give them a try.
What Foods Should I buy?
When you are shopping for foods one of the biggest ways to ensure you are getting healthy foods is by only buying whole foods that are less processed.
So anything that has not been altered or modified. Keeping it as basic as possible is the best way to ensure the nutritional value of your foods.
You can also buy only organic food for your family for much less like this mom Victoria. She has money saving workbooks that show you exactly how she feeds her family for $112 every single month.