Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child
As a parent, you play an important role in shaping your children’s eating habits. By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviours in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. You have a big influence over the family environment where meals take place and the types of foods your children eat. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.
Children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most, so the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing. Of course, no matter how good your intentions, it’s always going to be difficult to convince your eight-year-old that an apple is as sweet a treat as a cookie. However, you can ensure that your children’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible, even while allowing for some of their favorite treats.
The childhood impulse to imitate is strong, so it’s important you act as a role model for your kids. It’s no good asking your child to eat fruit and vegetables while you gorge on potato chips and soda. Providing your child with a healthy and nutritional meals, will support there growth and development and lays the foundation for good eating habits to keep him healthy in the future.
Developing healthy eating habits
• Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house.
• Eat meals together as a family as often as possible.
• Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV.
• Encourage your children to drink more water.
• Try not to use food to punish or reward your children.
. • Pay attention to portion size and ingredients.
How can I get my picky child to enjoy a wider variety of foods?
Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage, exerting control over their environment and expressing concern about trusting the unfamiliar. It can also take some children 8-10 presentations of a new food before they will openly accept it.
• Present only one new food at a time.
• Make it fun ! Game or unusual shapes.
• Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.
• Have your child help to prepare foods.
• Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
Healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods.
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