How to Raise Healthy Eaters
- Be a Centenarian Role Model.
Children typically like to imitate the behavior of adults around, including how they eat. In fact, research shows that children actually prefer the foods their parents are eating! If you order N4L meals, have you ever offered a taste to your children? What about the meals you make on your non-N4L days? Children may not always be receptive to trying new foods, but watching a trusted adult enjoy them will help relieve some stress. Consistently exposing children to foods with different textures, aromas, and flavors helps them develop a diverse palate.
It’s not all about the food itself, however. Get your children familiar with the regions of the world your meals are inspired by! If you’re making a long-time family favorite, explain to your children why you love the recipe so much. If you’re enjoying an N4L meal, make it a game to find out a fun fact about the region that the dish draws inspiration from.
All of our chef-curated meals are based on the cultural cuisine of the Longevity regions, so there’s no shortage of discussion (some background may be needed, refer to our 5 Commitments to a Longer, Healthier Life article to get started)!
- Sit Down and Enjoy.
A crucial part of longevity is building a strong community and that starts at home. Having sit-down family meals is beneficial for everyone in the family, but especially for children. Some benefits for children and teens include better academic performance, higher self-esteem, healthier eating patterns, and more!
Life is busy, but even starting with one family meal a week is a good place to start. As everyone at home gets used to this, add more meals to the routine. Also focus on removing distractions from the dinner table, like cellphones. Meals together promote good conversation, mindful eating, and overall family bonding.
- Get the Kids Involved.
It may seem obvious, but making children an active part of their healthy habits will make them more invested in maintaining them. Bring the kids along for grocery shopping, have them join you in the garden, or give them a role in the kitchen. These activities build valuable life skills and help get children invested in the food that they’re eating.
For example, at the grocery store, have your child pick out a vegetable to serve with dinner. Then when it’s mealtime, you can say “let’s enjoy that cauliflower you picked out” rather than “tonight we’re having cauliflower.” When they ask nutrition-related questions, instead of answering “I don’t know” and stop the conversation, look up the answers and encourage conversation and questions!