Giving Kids Choice-Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Giving your kids a choice of the foods they eat will help to develop healthy eating habits.

A path where kids have control in their food choice promotes an open mind towards food. Kids will become curious about the foods presented to them and begin to have conversations about why certain foods affect their bodies in different ways. This path may even lead to a less picky eater who is more accepting to new and different foods. Remember, it sometimes takes up to 15 tries for kids to accept and like a new food.

What to look forward to when you give kids more control in their food choices:

  • Kids will ask questions about why certain foods are healthy.
  • Kids will understand the benefit of eating healthy.
  • Kids will want to choose a healthy meal including fruits and vegetables
  • Kids will develop a preference to a healthy and balanced diet
  • Kids will begin to listen to body cues of hunger and satiety (fullness)
  • Kids taste preferences change to prefer healthy foods
  • Kids will develop a healthy relationship with food

What will this look like?

  • Start by having conversations about the foods you are eating at mealtime.
  • Make mealtime a non-judgment, non-pressure environment.
  • Give two healthy choices for a snack and let your kids choose which one they prefer- kids are more likely to enjoy the food because they had chose it.
  • Slowly introduce new foods with familiar foods to provide a positive association.
  • Let your kids choose foods in the grocery store.
  • Let your kids help to assemble the meal.

Planning is key! Have a variety healthy foods available, then let you kids choose what foods they would like and how much.

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