10 Ways to Break Bad Food Habits with Your Child

10 Ways to Break Bad Food Habits with Your Child

10 Ways to Break Bad Food Habits with Your Child - ShapeDown
10 Ways to Break Bad Food Habits with Your Child

Some of our children are uninterested in eating nutritious foods. Right? What’s the deal with nutritious food? A few of them will only eat foods such as hotdogs, macaroni, and cheese instead of healthy foods. And still, some will have candy and sweets before dinner. Why do we continue to allow them to eat junk food, or how can we stop it?

Whether your child is an infant, preschooler, or adolescent, a healthy diet plays a vital role in their life, and developing proper habits will always be a difficult chore. The key to achieving this is developing healthy eating habits throughout early childhood.

When a child is young, they are more malleable and open to learning new things; therefore, this is the ideal moment for parents to educate their kids on the significance of maintaining a nutritious diet. There is additional evidence that bad eating habits developed throughout childhood are difficult to alter later in life.

We continue to berate ourselves for allowing these habits to persist, but we are at a loss as to how to change them, making it appear as though it will be an impossible task. The good news is that there are solutions; you need to be willing to commit to them for them to work. Here are 10 ways to break the bad eating habits of your kids and enhance their food preferences.

1.   Make it unique

Let your young ones assist you in preparing an “appetizer plate” of vegetables with hummus or low-fat ranch dressing for dipping while you prepare supper. This does need additional time, but it can make all the difference in the world.

2.   Be calm

Never push or criticize your kids over new foods, including veggies, or you’ll be in for some significant power conflicts. Because actions speak louder than words, you should ensure that healthy stuff is present at every meal.

Try one or two of the servings for yourself and make a mental note of how delicious and crisp they are. It could take a couple of weeks or even months, but ultimately your child may express interest in attempting them.

3.   Go Beyond Limitation

When attempting to stop an unhealthy food habit, prohibiting individual servings already in the home might lead to behavioral issues such as tantrums and food smuggling. When parents limit their kids’ access to a particular meal or sweet treat, that item will appear more appetizing to their taste buds.

Because of this, food should not be classified as “good,” “bad,” or limited. Keep less healthy food at home so that kids know it is available to them and they do not feel the need to steal it.

Inquire how dining “fun” or “play” foods, such as desserts, affects them physically and mentally. Discuss what mindless eating looks like and how they can consume a satisfying quantity without discomfort.

4.   Break sugar dependency

Break sugar dependency - ShapeDown
Break sugar dependency – ShapeDown

Sugar is frequently added to foods; we wouldn’t expect to include it. This had pieces of bread, soups, or veggies in a can, sauces like ketchup, freezer foods, and junk food. Certain foods should be avoided or consumed at a low level for our health and to maintain a healthy weight.

The following are some suggestions to help you and your child consume less sugar in the foods you eat.

Don’t ban sweets

Your child may develop a desire for doughnuts or cake if you tell them they can never have it again. When they indulge in something sweet, they tend to go overboard with their consumption. Make these items an occasional pleasure rather than a regular part of their snacks.

Modify recipes

Many recipes may be made to taste just as excellent with less sugar. You can experiment by reducing the amount of added sugar and seeing what happens. In this way, you can convert unhealthy snacks into other healthy foods.

More fruit snacks

Fruits are a rich source of natural sugar. Consume additional food to fulfill your sweet tooth. Make sweets that feature fruit as the main ingredient. Consider a fruit smoothie rather than a milkshake.

5.    Avoid sugary drinks

It is advised that kids take no more than twelve grams of sugar every day at the maximum (three teaspoons). However, one can of regular soda has forty grams (ten teaspoons) of sugar that was added to it. Eliminating beverages and drinks are a practical way to lower one’s sugar consumption.

6.   Instruct Them Not To Miss Breakfast

1.   Instruct Them Not To Miss Breakfast - ShapeDown
Instruct Them Not To Miss Breakfast – ShapeDown

Breakfast is a child’s most frequently skipped meal, and the results are dangerous. There is proof that missing breakfast increases the chance of being overweight and making bad food choices later in the day. People who take breakfast are less irritated and more capable of processing information, paying attention, and performing well on assessments.

Make sure your kids have enough time to eat breakfast by waking them up a few minutes earlier. Serve breakfast containing protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats to maintain kids satisfied longer. 

7.   Each Week, Work on a Different Mini-Goal.

These progressive measures will culminate in a tremendous transformation. For instance, if your purpose is to make them consume more vegetables, commit to giving one new vegetable a shot every week until you find one you enjoy eating.

This will help you reach your purpose. Or you might look for easy methods to raise the number of vegetables you eat by one serving every week until you get your objective.

You could try filling your cheese sandwich with chunks of cucumber, adding chopped carrots to the muffins for breakfast, or sprinkling the pizza for supper with sun-dried olives and mushrooms. All of these options are healthy and delicious. This can make kids stop eating bad foods.

8.   Avoid Dining Out Often

Avoid Dining Out Often - ShapeDown
Avoid Dining Out Often – ShapeDown

Teenagers visit fast food restaurants significantly more frequently than when they were younger. Their school, sports, and job commitments typically conflict with typical eating times. This is the primary reason for weight gain in youngsters.

To avoid this terrible habit, suggest to your adolescents that they only consume fast food once per week. Then provide them with dinner and nutritious meals when they have the time. This can be accomplished by preparing an additional dish and allowing them to microwave it when they return from sports practice or whatever activity they prefer.

9.   Be adventurous

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is the ability to develop their taste buds to love a wide variety of flavors, not only sweets, fats, and salts. Kids learn about new foods over time and start eating them more often.

A kid may need to try something ten times before they start to appreciate it, so do not give up after the first attempt. A smart strategy is to remind your children that trying new meals is a sign of their maturation and will benefit their bodies. Praise them for trying fresh meals, even if they do not finish them.

Take them grocery shopping and let them select a new food. Serve it alongside their favorite foods, and they may also like it. Don’t try an obsessive calorie counting plan if you want to make your kid quit terrible food habits and lose weight.

10. Limit Distracted Consuming

You are dining alone, so you use your phone to text, browse Instagram, and play games. Or, you may read the newspaper, watch television, or use your laptop. These diversions divert your focus away from dining and make it more challenging to experience and recognize when you are satisfied/full indeed.

Your kids can develop such habits too. This can cause them to consume more than they need, either immediately or later. Make it a goal to eat with greater awareness, and pay close attention to teach them how hungry and full they feel during the experience.

How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Children

Good Eating Habits - How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Children - ShapeDown
Good Eating Habits – How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Children – ShapeDown

You may be wondering, after reading these ideas, reflecting on your childhood, and if you have children, how you might assist your kids in developing healthy and productive eating habits. How can you teach your child not to skip meals?

While there is no right or wrong response or method to accomplish things, there are certain activities that families can engage in.

Don’t enforce healthy and effective decision-making; instead, encourage them. This may include offering your children a selection of fruits and vegetables and allowing them to choose what they would like to eat.

Support mindful eating.  Helping your adolescents to chew every bite a minimum of 15–20 times and doing it yourself is one way to reduce the speed at which you consume food.

Keep electronic devices away from foods and snacks. During eating, it can be pretty difficult to pay attention to our body’s normal hunger and fullness signals if we are distracted. Staying away from devices and other distractions can help your children identify their emotions and provide an opportunity for family discussions!


Remember, as the parent; you play an essential part in molding your child’s dietary habits. You can assist your children in breaking their unhealthy behaviors to a considerable extent by providing a safe environment at home and by making an example for them yourself.

This will influence their life and health, which will endure for the rest of their lives. Follow the above mentions ways and tips to break the bad eating habits of your children.

Jim Yi