Eating right and eating for right reason are two different things. Read on to know how you can harvest a lifetime of healthy eating couple with opting for wholesome nutrition
We live in a super-sonic age. As parents, we live lives in the fast lane, often opting for fast foods, ready to eat foods and frequently eat out or order outside food simply out of compulsion on certain occasions. Children watch us and learn all the time apparently mirroring and adopting our habits, lifestyles and mannerisms.
You cannot force them to eat breakfast when you simply get away with a cup of coffee. If they watch you have fruits or eggs for breakfast, they too will feel motivated to try the same. If you are munching on a bag of chips while watch the Cricket match or a movie gulping down a bottle of coke and tell them that these are bad foods, it will not work. You see, they derive all their knowledge from what they see their parents and significant adults do. So if you don’t practice what you preach, it will leave them confused. So Cola is bad for me but good for Mom/Dad. See… it doesn’t fit into their simple world. Childhood obesity is looming large and the statics are alarming. Fancy foods like Burger, Pizza, Fries and Chips as well sugar laden and instant energy foods like cookies, chocolates and sweets are the culprits.
Just like the early bird catches the worm, the early years of your child’s life lay a foundation of healthy eating habits. The best time to start is when you have weaned them. Make sure they taste every food item. You can encourage them to eat from your plate too. This gives them an experience to explore and experiment with a variety of tastes.
If as a parent you feel that you have missed the bus and your child is already too finicky and picky about food, you can still do a lot to help them change tracks. This is how you can use meal time to cultivate great eating habits. Read on to know how:
- Make them they fall in love with food instead of making it look like a daily chore. Eating should cultivate joy. They should look forward to nourishing their bodies as well as tantalizing their taste buds. If eating is treated as just another thing in one’s routine that the parent needs to simply tick off their list like bathing or nap time children will never grow up to enjoy or appreciate good food and cultivate the right habits.
- Establish a routine where they get to eat 3-4 small yet nutrient dense meals. Healthy food if packaged in an attractive manner can lure your kids to the table and at least get them to try the food.
- While preparing snacks for them make sure they get a variety in terms of colors, flavors as well as taste.
- Let them eat on their own even if they are 1.5 year olds. Obviously, you will have to supervise. Give them finger foods or bite sized portions and avoid food items that serve as a choking hazard. Modify your style according to their age. For eg. If they just learning how to chew and eat and have not got all their teeth, you can give them foods that are not cut in small sizes as they could choke on it. Give them something they can hold and nibble on like a boiled carrot.
- Also invest in this amazing book ‘’My Child Won’t Eat’ by Carlos Gonzalez.