Is My Child Eating Properly?
One of the biggest concerns as a parent is whether or not your child is eating properly. We hear so much these days about obesity levels rising in children, even when they are very young. Problems with weight and body image can transcend into adulthood, so it is best to instil healthy eating habits when your child is young in order to ensure a happier and brighter future. So here are some tips and advice to help you throughout this journey and promote a healthy lifestyle for your children and yourself.
Enjoying Mealtimes Without Starting A War
One useful and simple change you can make is to ensure that mealtimes are pleasant. So many parents have fought with their children to make healthier choices and especially to finish all of the food on their plate.
How many times has this happened to you? Doesn’t it feel like a battleground and no one is winning?
Children can then become anxious about food and this can be counterproductive. Avoid putting this pressure on your kids and make sure they enjoy the food you give them. One of the most important things to remember when implementing a balanced diet for any kid is to not force them to finish everything on their plate. Children especially, grow tired of the taste of food quickly and may struggle to eat a full plate of food that tastes the same. A good piece of advice is to serve your child a smaller portion of a main course and provide a healthy and balanced dessert as the second course. They will still be getting enough to eat and at the same time, they will be having an opportunity to enjoy a wider range of nutrients.
Rewards…Are They Effective?
It may be tempting to reward your children with food – this is a huge mistake. Offering a high fat or high sugar item as a reward for good behaviour, or for finishing a healthy plate of food can have a reverse effect on their eating habits. The child will simply crave this food more and more and will start expecting such rewards every time he does something good. Therefore, your child may take in too many calories by using this system, which can lead to serious outcomes.
Make Cooking Become As Much Fun As Playing Your Kid’s Favourite Sport
If your child is unwilling to eat healthy food, then try and get them involved in the preparation and cooking aspect of your meals. Children love to join in with cooking and it can make the whole experience much more fun. It’s the same thing like trying to get them to exercise more and become more active. If you get involved with your children and build courts to play sports at home like tennis and basketball, this will get them more motivated to participate. Trials have shown that kids will always eat what they have made themselves. This can be a great way to get them to eat healthy meals like home made fishcakes, fruit muffins, vegetable burgers and so on.
Encourage healthy snacking as part of a positive diet for kids. Snacks are perfectly fine, and actually good for your child if they are prepared with the right ingredients. Snacking on healthy items such as a small amount of nuts, a low-sugar cereal bar or some fruit or a bran muffin can be beneficial. These things stop cravings for high calorie junk foods and keep the metabolism running efficiently.
Make sure the whole family is joining in. Avoid cooking different meals for different family members. Make sure everyone is making the same, healthy choices and your children will love to copy and do the same thing. They will be more motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle, if they are not on their own. And don’t forget to play their favourite backyard sports to make them more active and healthier!