The nutritional decisions you make for, and with your children are crucial to their physical development, and their ability to learn. The right foods will promote a healthy lifestyle, help your kids concentrate in school, and keep their brains sharp. The wrong foods can affect their moods, and their ability to concentrate. Just like you, your kids can get “hangry”, which is something we all want to avoid.

With all the allergies and intolerances that are recognized by schools, achieving a well balanced diet for your kids can be a challenge. Along with these dietary restrictions comes the difficulty of incorporating what is good for their growing minds and bodies, and getting them to actually enjoy it. Let’s face it, broccoli has never been an exciting choice for anyone, so how can you encourage a healthy diet without taking all the fun out of meal time?

Exploring some tips and tricks to help promote healthy eating among your kids will help you set them up with good eating habits they can carry throughout their lives. Healthy habits start with you, so lead by example and follow the following tips to help your kids understand the importance of a balanced diet.

5 Tips and Tricks to Help Promote Healthy Eating:

Don’t Ban Junk Food Outright

This may seem counterintuitive, but trust us, it makes sense. Everyone wants what they can’t have, the same applies for junk food. When we are forbidden to do something, or eat something it makes it all the more appealing. This can make for a Willy Wonka effect and cause your child to sneak junk food when they’re out at school, at a friends house, or alone at home. When junk food is seen as something that they are allowed to eat in moderation, kids won’t feel the same excitement of breaking the rules. It’s important to identify foods that are considered “junk food” and promote healthier snacks so your kids can make healthy decisions on their own when you’re not there to guide them.

Encouraging alternate food choices is a great way to send a positive message to your kids, if your kids ask for a treat, offer a healthier solution. When they ask to order pizza, offer to get the thin crust, when it’s mac n cheese night, cook with whole wheat pasta. Little adjustments like this will help your children understand healthier alternatives.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

It’s easy for kids to sneak junk food when it’s readily available to them. Cutting down the amount of junk food that you buy at the grocery store will eliminate the temptation to eat it at home, out of sight, out of mind. Keeping some treats in the house shouldn’t be forbidden, we all need a little chocolate here and there, but keeping too much of it can encourage binge eating. Purchasing healthy snacks at the grocery store will give kids the right options at home.

Dealing with Vending Machines in School

Vending machines in schools are convenient and quick, but they don’t always give our kids the best options. Let’s face it, our kids get bored in school, and this boredom leads to being tempted with salty and sugary treats. Giving your children healthy snacks like an apple, or crackers to take to school is a good way to prevent them from spending money on unhealthy snacks from the vending machine. For schools that have Hot Lunch programs, try to fill out the order forms with your kids, that way they’re involved in their food choices, and it offers an opportunity for your kids to learn how to choose healthy options.

Vending machines in schools suck the money out of students! Teaching your children healthy spending habits is important, when they get their weekly allowance, where do they spend it? If you send your child to school with proper snacks, they (hopefully) won’t spend their allowance on treats from the vending machine. Remind your kids that if they save their money and don’t spend it on food, they can spend it on a game, or go to the movies instead. This will hit two birds with one stone, your child will learn how to save money on food, and it will help them ignore the temptations of the vending machine at school.

Avoid ‘Empty Calories’

Pops and juices are considered ‘empty calories’ because they don’t control hunger, they just add to calorie intake without any benefit whatsoever. Pop and juice are both favourites for kids, but drinking liquids that are high in sugar can have a huge impact on daily calorie intakes, especially for younger kids because their necessary daily calorie intake is not as high. Sticking with water or milk is a good way to promote healthy drinking habits, with the occasional treat of a soda or juice.

Drinking water is an important aspect of a healthy diet, we all know this. Consuming the proper amount of water will help with acne, moods, and energy levels, especially going through puberty. You can help your child by purchasing a reusable water bottle that they can carry with them. This will encourage drinking water, especially when they’re at school – refilling a water bottle is a good excuse to get up and out of class.


Kids are always moving and growing, which means they need food to keep their energy up and feeling good throughout the day. Young bodies need proper nutrition to keep concentrated and alert before, during, and after school. Unhealthy snacks are far too easy to have, they’re quick and easy, especially as a parent when we’re exhausted from our day and don’t have the energy to put in effort for snacks. Meal prepping is a good way to keep healthy snacks on hand for after school. Try cutting up vegetables earlier in the week so when the kids need a snack it’s ready to go – all you have to do is get the dip out.

Remember that kids don’t need to eat big meals, smaller portions throughout the day will help them stay full and keep their energy up for school, and after school activities. Giving kids little snacks to bring to school will help manage their hunger and keep their brains sharp.

Pro Tip

Trying to get your kids to eat vegetables can be a nightmare. Here are some yummy recipes that are loaded with veggies!

Encouraging a healthy diet for our kids isn’t always easy, but it’s important to do in order to promote healthy habits that will last into their adult years. Children need a balanced diet in order to grow and learn on a daily basis. As a parent, it’s our job to make sure our kids have the proper tools and knowledge to make healthy decisions on their own.