A common dilemma faced by majority of parents is getting their children to healthy eating habits. Many kids tend to be fussy when it is about eating vegetables and fruits that come under the zone of DANGER for them. As a parent, you can control over your kid’s food habits when he/she is very young. If all they eat is healthy food that is what they will prefer when they get older. These habits will stay with them throughout their lives. But, do not place your kids on restrictive diet. Here are some effective ways of inculcating good eating habits in children:
1.Make your Refrigerator Healthy
What’s the first thing kids do when they’re hungry. They head towards the refrigerator or the food cupboard, pick up the first thing they like and eat it. So you need to store healthy food or snacks in your fridge, to control your kid’s access to junk food. This will make them habitual of picking up healthy snacks.
2. Banning Junk Food is not an option
Don’t ban junk food totally from your child’s life, limit the number of junk treats they eat every day, this won’t tempt your kids to eat what they cannot have. Junk food may be available to them outside your house they could continue to eat them despite being full, inculcating the habit of overeating. Help your child develop a healthy bond with food and instead of using it as a punishment or reward.
3. Boost Them to Eat Fruits and Veggies at Dinner!!
Do include one healthy dish your kids like and will surely eat. Boost them to eat fresh fruits and veggies, serve more with a little combination of starchy foods like potatoes. If more hungry, encourage them to eat more of the former. If not cooking at home, order from healthy meal providing services for fresh, nutritional & delicious food delivered to your doorstep. By this your family can enjoy nutritious wholesome meals instead of restaurant-processed food.
4. Don’t let your kid OVEREAT!!
Some children especially toddlers are bit fussy when it comes to food. They should know when they’re starting to feel full & thus stop eating. Never force or bribe them with candies to finish their meal. Let them eat as much as they want to & save the leftovers for when they feel hungry later.
Sometimes you may feel they haven’t eaten enough, yet let them to stop eating when they begin to feel full. As they might develop the habit of eating when they’re not hungry, this may lead to obesity.
5. Be creative
Kids do not like routine & monotony. More often, they don’t eat because you serve them same dishes with same ingredients all over again. Vary the recipe by adding different ingredients. Garnish the food in a creative manner to attract the child’s interest.
6. Teach to Respect Meal Timings
Teach your child to respect and stick to meal times. The three time meals of the day is must, many kids often eat two refreshments every day. Don’t force them to eat if they are not hungry during a meal time. Nibbling on small eats before meals should be avoided like cookies, candy or chips. Instead, give them healthier options like chopped fruits, nuts to give them more nutrients. If you’re kids aren’t getting ample nutrition, consult a nutritionist.
7. Try your level BEST!!
Children at times take a while before developing liking towards a particular food. Don’t be disappointed if your kids reject some vegetables the first time. Try offering it several times as different variety.
And you never know, they may end up loving it.
8. You are a leading Example
Children generally imitate your behavior several times at home. One of them is picking up your eating patterns and behaviors. Teach table manners to them and how eating fresh and nutritious food helps to stay in healthy and fit.
Have your meals with your kids & let them see how much you enjoy eating your vegetables and fruits. Make meal times exciting by trying new dishes together.
9. Cooking Together Is Fun
On holidays cook with your kids in the kitchen & let them understand the hard work you take in preparing the meals for them daily. Let them add their special touch to the dishes and help you with washing vegetables, mixing the dough, mashing the potatoes, adding the pizza toppings etc. It will increase their interest in the art of healthy cooking and will appreciate nutritious food.
10. Habit of Reading Labels
Read labels on food containers & packets is very important as this one habit will be helpful to your kids throughout their lives. Take them along with you to the grocery store and teach them to choose their food – fresh or package.
Hence, allowing your kids to eat unhealthy always may become a habit, & cannot be changed easily. Especially if they get comfortable with such eating patterns. That doesn’t imply you restrict them to nibble their favorite foodstuff once in a while. Your focus is to make fresh and healthy foods a priority in their diet. Remember the above tips and you will certainly raise children with healthy eating habits appreciating the value of good diet.