When it comes to being an adult, one of the things that we wish we paid attention to growing up was our teeth. From brushing two to three times a day, right through to flossing after each meal. And while it isn’t the easiest of tasks to convince your children that they should learn from your mistakes, it isn’t an impossible one.
Below are some great ideas to help you teach your children to appreciate dental hygiene and eat healthier.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
You might think that this is a drastic comparison until you present your child with a plate of vegetables and grilled fish.
Once you’ve tried this, then you’ll understand that the comparison is appropriate.
The trick to introducing healthier foods into your child’s diet and removing the sugary snacks which can cause cavities and gum disease is to take it slow. Very slow.
- Start one week by including a healthy item in their lunchbox but not mentioning anything whether they eat it or not.
- The second week, you could replace one sugary snack with a healthy alternative, while still continuing to say nothing about the changes happening to their lunch.
- For the third week, you could be making two or three of their weekly lunches from entirely healthy ingredients.
While three weeks may seem like a long time, it’s important to remember that you are also hoping to change their eating habits outside of your home. This takes time.
While you should never bribe our children, offering appropriate incentives can be a great motivator. Small gifts like a new pair of sunglasses from the Groupon Coupons page for Oakley if they eat all of the healthy items in their lunch box for one whole week, or even a few days where they don’t have to clean the dishes after the meal if they include some fresh fruit with the dessert ice cream.
Of course, if they have a big event coming up, such as a birthday, you can consider using a month of healthy eating to increase the size of their birthday present or their party.
Sauces Are Your Weapons!
Just like fast food chains use sauces and spices to enhance the flavor of their food, so too can you use them as yours!
As you start to introduce new foods on their plates at home, be sure to bring out additional sauces and gravy to help them mask the flavor. Then, as the days and weeks progress, start to place less and less of them on the table until eventually, all they are using is a small amount of salt or pepper, or even better, nothing at all!
No parents ever said that it was easy to convince their children to improve their eating habits and improve their dental health, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. It just takes time, patience, the tips in this article, and your example to watch and emulate.