How to Teach Your Kids to Eat Well (and Save Money on Medical Bills)

family medicine

Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine.’ This wisdom has been applied throughout human history to keep families healthy, strong, and productive. And it can help you do the same for your children. 

If you wish to save money on your family medicine bills, the best way to do so is by teaching your children to eat healthily. Not that this is going to be an easy task, but even so, it’s a worthy way to spend your time and resources.

We share some actionable tips for you in the article below that you can start applying today to get your children eating more greens. 

Lead by Example

Your children aren’t going to eat their fruits and vegetables if they notice the adults at the table being fussy about consuming them. That’s why it all has to start with you.

You can’t say ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ and pretend like your children are going to be alright with this dictatorial or authoritative method of teaching.

They might be little beings, but they are quite smart. And if they see that you aren’t enjoying your greens with gusto, they will take it as a permission slip to ignore the greens on their plates as well. 

If you aren’t a big fan of healthy eating yourself, then start slow with the dishes you do enjoy. Mix and match the greens with your favorite meat dishes so you can have the best of both worlds. 

It’s all about building your taste buds’ tolerance for healthy dishes. So be patient with it. It’s all for your family’s health.

Don’t Use Punishment as a Tool, Use Rewards

There are going to be times when your children are going to be crankier than normal about eating their greens. It might be when they have had a hard time at school or when they are just feeling moody. 

Instead of using punishment as a way to get them to eat healthily, try a reward system instead. You don’t want your children to associate healthy eating with something negative. 

This doesn’t mean that you should always reward them with ice cream or a dessert if they finish all the greens on their plate. But figure out other ways to reward them for eating healthy and making healthy food choices even when you are not around.

It could be something as simple as allowing them to be on their PlayStation for 30 minutes longer or going for a walk or bike ride with them. If you can include healthy outdoor activities into the mix, then your family will be that much healthier. 

Try Blending in Greens So They Aren’t So Visible

A lot of parents have had to become sneaky when it comes to feeding their children healthy greens, like spinach, kale, and broccoli. These greens have more of a bitter taste to them and children might not be able to stomach them yet. 

To get them used to these tastes, you could try blending in these greens into soups or stews, so they aren’t so visible. Or try putting them into smoothies with sweet fruits like berries, mangoes, and bananas. 

Be Creative With Your Meal Planning

It’s all about becoming creative when it comes to creating meals for the family during the week. Nowadays, with the profusion of food delivery apps, it’s way too easy to just order unhealthy fast foods, rather than take the time to cook a healthy meal.

With meal planning, you will have everything you need to cook a healthy meal already at hand. You don’t need to be boring about it either.

Start by following dozens of chefs out there on social media who are constantly giving out tips on meal planning and other healthy meal prep ideas. Use their tips and tricks to enhance your family’s experience of eating healthy food at home. 

Allow Cheat Meals Like Ice Cream and Snacks

Don’t get too restrictive with your family when it comes to eating healthy. You are not joining a decathlon or becoming an Iron Woman. 

Allow your children to have the occasional unhealthy snack like ice cream, chips, or other snacks. This way they won’t feel too suffocated, especially when they compare themselves to their friends whose parents might not be so health conscious. 

Don’t Get Disheartened if They Fall off the Wagon

You’re not going to be around your children all the time. There will be times when they are at their grandma’s or at summer camp, where they might end up eating terribly for a few weeks at a time. 

That’s life. You can’t do anything about that.

All you can do is help them get back to healthy eating mode as soon as they come back home. Once they get used to eating healthy, you will notice that they will choose healthier options over unhealthy ones on their own, without you prodding them. 

It might take a bit of time to get there, but you will get there, assuredly. Stay pumped up and excited about this path to build your family’s health using food as natural medicine. 

Family Medicine Begins With You

You are the rudder that is going to drive the ship that is your family medicine bills. The more careful you can be with your family’s meal planning and food prep, the easier it will be for you to control where this ship ends up docking.

We are here to help you make this journey even faster and easier. With acupuncture, counseling, functional medicine, and pediatrics on our roster, we are ever ready to help you improve your family’s health. Contact us to learn more about our services.