How to improve your child’s eating habits
Are you tired of your child’s picky eating habits? Do you always worry about their growth and lack of proper nutrition in their diet? Do you worry about their excessive junk food intake?
The constant topic of worry for many parents is what their child is eating and not eating. The lack of adequate nutrients being consumed for their child’s age and growth hampering is a common issue many parents face. Childhood is the clay where the great food behavior pattern for the rest of life is set. It’s crucial to intervene and teach them what is the right food that nourishes them and what will harm their body.
Here’s a list of ways you can deal with this situation and improve your child’s eating habits-
Planning a meal schedule
It’s essential to set a meal schedule for your child. Most children should consume three major meals and two to three snack meals per day. Decide in advance what to serve at each meal. Always plan the recipes to be cooked in advance and do the basic meal prep a day before. It is handy to keep your pantry stocked with healthy snacks like nuts and roasted seeds, fruits, and vegetable sticks.
A fluid timetable and target should be set to ensure your little ones do not slip into a dehydrated state. Encourage your child to help with the meal planning while suggesting options and taking their inputs.
Set an example for your children
Children often mimic their parent’s behavior. It’s crucial not to be biased toward a certain food in front of them. Do not make separate meals for children and the rest of your family. A standard meal that is inclusive of all your family food patterns and is nutritious should be made. It’s important not to dump likes and dislikes and set a healthy example of someone eating from all food groups.
Do not encourage erratic eating behavior and dieting as children may grow up, considering it as normal behavior. Stories.swns.com has some interesting approaches to promote healthy eating behavior in children.
Encourage mindful eating
Mindful eating should be taught from a young age. Ask them to trust their body and listen to it when it is full and when it is hungry. A lot of disorders arise due to a lack of the body’s appetite and hunger signals. Do not give them screen time while eating. Encourage the dining table as a no phone, no TV, no screen Zone. Spend time with each other and teach them how to eat calmly without disturbances.
Cook with your children
The best advice to many parents who are looking to improve their kid’s dietary habits is to get them involved in the cooking process. This is also a good time for creating bonds and teaching them the sacred art of whipping up delicious meals. Make your kitchen kid-friendly. Set up a no fire station and involve them in mixing, juicing, and whipping. In the case of older kids, teach them to chop vegetables safely.
Go grocery shopping with your kids. Tell them interesting stories of how food is grown, the health benefits and involve them in choosing the ingredients. Have fun and try unusual combinations and techniques, invent new dishes, and cook junk foods at home with a healthy twist.
Allow treats and do not restrict everything
Do not enforce a strict healthy diet. Allows some not so healthy foods to stop the development of the forbidden food list. Treat them with some candy, cookies, pizza, and sugary cereals once in a while and explain why they are less nutritious. Learn that as a parent, you need to keep a balance between the foods you want your child to eat and the child’s demand. Make smart food choices, but still be a little flexible and do not be fixated on forcing them to eat everything. Introduce them to new foods little by little and enjoy the process and monitor their reactions.
Learn what it’s the overall intake and not an unhealthy meal that matters. Make smart choices, emphasize and set examples with healthy home-cooked meals and a variety of fresh produce. Be a role model and teach them habits and behaviors that will remain for a lifetime.