6 Tips for Building Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

Apr 15, 2024 | Blog

We are all aware of the power of good and clean eating. While it’s applicable to all beings, we are focusing on the younger ones here. Children’s food choices pave the way to flourishing health. In this guide, we will discuss the essential steps for instilling healthy eating habits for kids. From delicious and healthy snacks to engaging and satisfying meals, discover practical techniques for laying the groundwork for a lifetime of excellent nutrition.

1. Create a Colourful Plate

Introduce bright and locally accessible vegetables and fruit to tempt their taste buds. By including a variety of textures and tastes in their food, you not only meet their nutritional needs but also make each mouthful a pleasant step towards their well-being.

Consider adding the rich flavours of locally grown dates, a popular and healthful option in the UAE. The sweet flavour of dates may provide a delicious touch to a child’s snack or dessert, making healthy eating more enjoyable. In addition, explore the vibrant colours and distinct textures of locally grown fruits such as pomegranates, figs, and dates to improve the visual appeal of your child’s plate.

2. Fun and Healthy Snacks for Children: 

Build an ideal balance of health and enjoyment with creative snack ideas that make healthy eating enjoyable. Combining regionally popular and healthful snacks such as fresh fruit chaat, which is a vibrant combination of locally available fruits dusted with chaat masala for spice is one such idea. This delicious and nutritious snack not only appeals to children’s tastes but also teaches them about Dubai’s rich culinary history.

Explore the local markets for a range of fresh and seasonal fruits to incorporate into the healthy snacks for kids. Balancing health and pleasure becomes simpler when you incorporate locally inspired snack ideas, allowing your kid to create lasting good eating habits.

3. Teaching Children About Healthy Eating: 

Teaching kids about healthy eating is essential for their well-being. Engage them by involving them in meal planning and cooking, taking them along when grocery shopping, and encouraging them to try new fruits and vegetables. 

Use storytelling and games to make learning fun, creating stories about superheroes who gain powers from nutritious meals or playing games to match foods to their respective food groups. Emphasise positivity and interactivity by focusing on the delicious and nutritious options available rather than restrictions. Set up a “healthy eating chart” for them to track progress or create a reward system for trying new foods, making mealtimes a positive family experience.

Here are some examples to consider: 

  • highlight traditional Emirati foods like dates and camel milk, which are both sweet and healthy, supplying critical vitamins and minerals.
  •  Involve children in the preparation of foods like tabbouleh or hummus, showing the advantages of fresh vegetables and legumes. 
  • Explore local marketplaces such as the Dubai Spice Souk and the Ripe Market, where children can learn about the many ingredients used in Emirati cuisine, building a greater respect for their food and history. 

By incorporating these cultural components into their healthy eating lessons, children can form lifetime habits for a better lifestyle.

4. Balancing Treats: 

When it comes to treats, teaching moderation is key for kids in Dubai. Emphasise the importance of enjoying treats in moderation, explaining that while they can be delicious, they’re best enjoyed as occasional indulgences rather than everyday snacks. By teaching this concept, children can develop a balanced approach to treats, understanding that it’s okay to enjoy them sometimes but not all the time.

Encouraging a healthy relationship with all types of food is essential. Show children that treats are just one part of a varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. For example, you can highlight traditional Emirati sweets like luqaimat or baklava, explaining that while they’re tasty, they’re best enjoyed on special occasions. By instilling this mindset early on, children can grow up with a healthy attitude towards food, enjoying treats in moderation while prioritising nutritious options for their overall well-being.

5. Setting a Healthy Eating Routine:

Establishing a healthy eating routine is crucial for children to thrive. Set regular meal and snack times to help them develop a predictable eating schedule, ensuring they have the energy they need throughout the day. Encourage a calm and enjoyable atmosphere during meals, perhaps by playing soft music or engaging in conversation about their day. By creating a positive environment, children are more likely to associate mealtimes with relaxation and pleasure, making them more receptive to trying new foods and making healthy choices.

Additionally, promote mindful eating habits by encouraging children to pay attention to their food and how it makes them feel. Teach them to chew slowly, savouring each bite, and to listen to their body’s hunger and fullness cues. For example, you can incorporate elements of the local culture by discussing the significance of sharing meals with family and friends in Emirati traditions. By instilling these mindful eating practices early on, children can develop a healthy relationship with food and maintain lifelong habits that support their well-being.

6. Leading by Example: 

Being a positive role model for healthy eating is vital for parents. Show your children the importance of nutritious food choices by demonstrating them yourself. Share family meals as often as possible to encourage communal eating and bonding over food. By sitting down together, you not only set a positive example but also create opportunities for meaningful conversations and connections.

Demonstrate the joy of savouring nutritious foods by expressing your enjoyment of them during meals. Talk about the delicious flavours and how they make you feel energised and strong. You can incorporate elements of your city’s diverse culinary scene by exploring local markets together and trying new, healthy dishes. By leading by example and showing enthusiasm for healthy eating, parents can inspire their children to adopt similar habits and lead happier, healthier lives.


In conclusion, when it comes to instilling healthy meals for kids, there are key tips to keep in mind. First, involve them in meal planning and cooking to make learning about food fun and engaging. Second, emphasize moderation and occasional indulgence when it comes to treats, fostering a balanced approach to eating. Third, establish a regular eating routine and create a calm, enjoyable atmosphere during meals to promote mindful eating habits. 

 It’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a balanced diet. By nourishing our children with nutritious foods, we set them up for a healthier future, with more energy, stronger immune systems, and better overall well-being. Embracing this journey of nurturing healthy eaters is key to building a brighter, more vibrant future for our children and the community as a whole. We, at Emirates British Nursery, encourage healthy eating habits by offering delicious and healthy snacks for the students. Together, we can inspire healthy habits that last a lifetime, ensuring our children grow up to be happy, thriving individuals.

This Article is written by a third party.

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