It’s June and in the Philippines, this means that children are back to school. It also means that we’ll be encountering more traffic! Haha! But kidding aside, I am excited as this is the first time my daughter will be attending school. They had us pack nutritious meals for them for their “snack time”. They gave the parents a list of healthy food that we can pack and a list of food that we should avoid. This is great since we need not worry or think about the other kids bringing unhealthy and junk food. The school seems strict on implementing these “food” rules, and they seem really adamant on wanting to help parents instill healthy eating habits.
For moms, like me, a question that often comes up is how do you teach kids to eat safe and nutritious food in school? We can’t be with them 24/7, so how do you make sure that they don’t spend money on unhealthy food or splurge on sweets and candy? I thought about this and here are some of the things that I came up with and heard from my mommy friends:
1. Instill the habit of eating healthy – In our home, we cook healthy food so that our daughter will get used to eating these kinds of food. We try to go for boiled, broiled or grilled food. We avoid fried and fatty food. We also see to it that we have vegetables and fruits. The most accessible food in the house should be healthy! By getting them used to eating healthy food, they will look for the same kind of food in the cafeteria.
2. Teach them proper portioning – They need not bring measuring cups to school. What we do at home to easily remember portioning is by using or hands. Open your hand. Keep your fingers together. This is how much vegetables you should eat. Then for the meat or protein intake, it should be the size of your palm. For rice or any carbohydrate, keep it to half a cup to one cup.
One whole fist is a cup of rice. For spreads or butter, keep it to just a “finger-tip” portion. Make it a fun lesson for your kids by using your hand to explain proper portioning.3. Don’t deprive them of sweets, but limit intake – We avoid junk food, candies and sweets at home, but at least once a week, our daughter gets to try some of these. This is so that she’s aware also of how these stuff look like. I know that I may not be there with her 24/7, so better that she tries them in an environment where I can limit her intake rather than she learns and always eats these things in a place where I don’t get to monitor her and properly explain why she should avoid these unhealthy snacks and drinks.
4. Lead by example – My husband and I try to limit eating junk food in front of our daughter. The best way you can actually teach them is by leading through example.
5. Have them bring clean and safe water for drinking – It’s really best when food and water come from the house. I, personally include a bottle of Wilkins Distilled Drinking water in my daughter’s lunchbox, together with healthy snacks and fruits. But, of course, if you don’t have time to prepare, just tell your children to see to it that the food that they buy is warm and heated enough. Also, it’s best to advise them to look for Wilkins Distilled Drinking water instead of drinking from any place else in school. It’s important to drink safe and clean drinking water to avoid diseases like diarrhea and cholera.
These are the things that you can do to teach your kids to choose safe and nutritious cafeteria food. Do follow the Wilkins Distilled Drinking Water fanpage where we will share more tips for moms! Join us and join in on the conversation of the Wilkins Circle of Trust. The Wilkins Circle of Trust was built so that moms can have a safe haven where they can share their thoughts and concerns about raising their children, and even get answers from experts. If you want to join in on the conversation, use #WilkinsCircleofTrust.