Try for 5 is Nutrition Australia’s annual healthy eating awareness campaign promoted during National Nutrition Week in October. Australian Health Survey data has found less than 4% of us eat the recommended daily serves of vegetables each day. The Try for 5 Campaign aims to celebrate vegetables and provides solutions to help everyone achieve 5 servings of vegetables every day.
Getting enough vegetables and eating healthy is crucial for your child’s health, growth, and development. Research shows that healthy eating in childhood means they will have less chance of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. That’s why its important your child gets an adequate amount of nutritious foods and knows the importance of healthy eating.
Teaching your child how to eat healthily now means they will be more likely to make their own healthy choices as they get older. Here are five tips to encourage your child to form healthy eating habits:
1.Make healthy foods fun!
Being creative with how your food is presented, can turn healthy eating into an exciting and enjoyable time for your child. Some examples include:
2. Have a variety of healthy foods
Expose your children to a variety of different foods, textures, and flavors to keep them excited about what they are eating. Have your fridge and pantry stocked with a range of nutritious food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, and low-fat dairy products.
This gives children the opportunity to try different foods and reduces the likelihood of them getting bored by eating the same thing every day.
3. Limit the amount of junk food you keep in the house
Limit the amount of junk food you keep in your house to encourage your children to eat healthier. If it’s not easily accessible, children are less likely to be ask for unhealthier food options. Instead, keep a fruit bowl in sight so they are more likely to grab a piece of fruit to snack on, and have vegetables easily accessible in the fridge or pantry.
4. Learn together about how different foods are grown
Teaching your children about where fruits and vegetables come from and how they get to the supermarket shelves, encourages children to be more aware of the nutrients and benefits that come with eating healthy. Learning together about how different foods are grown is important to encourage healthier eating habits. There are plenty of books and resources that can help children learn about this process in an educational and fun way.
At Aspire, we also implement educational programs about nutrition and where food comes from, to teach our children about the environment around them and what they are eating.
5.Let your children help with food shopping and preparation
Sometimes the best way to encourage healthy eating habits is to allow children to be involved in the process of food shopping and preparation. When it comes to the food shopping your child could help write the shopping list, pick out the fruit and vegetables from the shelves, or help you unpack the shopping bags.
Having your child help with the food preparation also serves many benefits. Choose short and simple tasks for your child to try such as washing fruit and vegetables, getting things from the fridge, handing over utensils that aren’t dangerous to hold or stirring ingredients. Getting your child involved in the cooking will help them develop healthy eating habits, as they're more likely to try food that they've helped cook.
Nutrition Australia has a range of valuable resources, as well as budget friendly recipes to try here. If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum and how we implement healthy eating practices at Aspire, enquire now.