Whether your child is a toddler, a preschooler, or a teenager, nutrition plays a significant part in their lives. Instilling healthy eating habits early on is just as important as eating healthy foods. Children are more flexible and willing to learn new things when they are young. It is time that parents can educate them on the importance of good eating habits. Research has shown that eating habits developed during childhood are enduring throughout the years and are hard to alter.
More Healthy Options
Create a selection of healthy food choices within the home. It will teach your children to make healthier choices with their food. You can leave out bad choices such as chips, soda, and juice. Fresh fruit or raw vegetables could be more attractive if there aren’t any cookies on the table.
Encourage Slow Eating
A child can detect hunger and fullness faster by eating slowly. Before giving a second helping or serving the food, ensure your child is patient for a minimum of 15 minutes to determine whether they’re still starving. It will allow your child’s brain enough time to feel fullness. The second portion will be smaller than the one. If possible, fill the second portion with more vegetables.
Enjoy Meal with Family
Make mealtimes enjoyable by sharing and talking and not an opportunity to scold or argue. If meals are not pleasant, children might try to eat quickly so they can get off the table as soon as possible. Then, they may connect eating to anxiety. Do not discuss heated or negative issues during meals, even if it isn’t related to food, such as lousy performance on tests or other unacceptable behaviour.
Healthy Water Habits
Please encourage them to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but ask them to avoid drinking water within 25 minutes before and after every meal as it can cause digestive issues. Also, encourage them to drink while sitting instead of standing because drinking while standing will not allow the body to absorb the nutrients but will also lead to indigestion. The excessive consumption of sodas and sweetened drinks is linked to rising instances of obesity in children. Thus avoid them as much as possible. You can choose healthier homemade options such as lemonade and fruit juices.
No TV During Meal
Eat only in a specific room in your house, like the kitchen or dining area. Food served while watching TV can cause them to be unable to focus on feelings of fullness and could cause overeating. With time, you will notice that it is one of the best healthy food habits to practice daily.
Never Use Food as Punishment
Denying them food as punishment can cause children to fear that they won’t get enough food. For instance, sending kids to bed with no dinner might cause them to worry about being hungry. In the end, kids might want to eat whenever they can. In the same way, when certain foods such as sweets are used to reward, kids may believe that these food items are superior or superior to other foods. For instance, telling children, they’ll receive dessert if they eat all their vegetables sends a negative impression about veggies.
Ensure Proper Hygiene
Ensure your child is taught to wash their hands before eating any food item. Help them learn table manners and maintain cleanliness in the kitchen and the dining area.
A constant snack can lead to overeating, but snacks planned for time slots during the day could be integral to a healthy diet and not stifle children’s mealtime appetite. Keep nutritious and tasty options for snacking available at all times in your home. Let your kids enjoy a small number of cookies or chips now and then, particularly at celebrations or other social occasions.
Take Kids for Grocery Shopping
It will provide you with hints regarding your child’s food preferences. It is also an excellent opportunity to educate your children on nutrition and provide them with an experience of satisfaction. Additionally, kids may be more inclined to eat or try new foods when involved in the preparation.
Minimize Use of Packaged Food
Beware of the use of gimmicks to label foods. Foods advertised as low-fat or fat-free may still be loaded with calories. Also, food products advertised as cholesterol-free could still be high in saturated fat, sugar and fat. Read nutritional labels on the backside to learn the complete information.
Be a Role Model
Children learn more by looking at you than by listening to you. You will have to practice what you preach. If they notice you implementing the habits you are teaching, they will adopt them faster than you can expect.
Be patient. Your children’s eating habits may not change in a single day. Still, gradually you’ll see them implementing healthy eating habits in months or weeks. Set up family meals, take your time to eat and sit at the dining table and enjoy meals together. Do not bribe or reward your children with unhealthy or restricted food items.