Top 8 Strategies To Encourage Healthy Eating In Children
Healthy eating in children can be one of the most challenging tasks for parents. The kids have turned up their noses at the rice, dal, and vegetables you made. Now they’re negotiating for chicken nuggets and their favorite pasta. Despite knowing that nutrition is vital for your growing and energetic child, you reluctantly put the dal away and tear open a bag of frozen nuggets. What else could you do?
Ensuring children are eating nutritious food is both a priority and a challenge for caregivers. Additionally, not all children are the same. They often respond and react differently to different kinds of encouragement. So Whether you’re a childcare provider or a frazzled parent, here’s a range of strategies for mealtime.
Eight Easy Hacks For Healthy Eating In Children
Healthy eating in children is essential for strong bones, teeth, and a healthy heart. It helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes optimal body function, and keeps the brain sharp and ready to learn. But not all kids understand this.
For most parents, helping healthy eating in children can be challenging. Here is what you can do:
Don’t Ban Eating Junk Food Outright.
Just go easy! Once kids get their first taste of crispy, sweet, and salty foods, it’s hard to get them unhooked. Well, that’s a bitter fact! But Tada! We have one strategy! You need to limit the number of binge eating that kids are allowed to eat each day, rather than ban these foods altogether. This is the only way kids won’t be as tempted to crib for what they can’t have. Banning specific food increases the temptation to eat more.
Encourage Healthy Eating In Children At School.
Picture this: You take particular care of your child’s nutrition when they are home, but when they leave for the day, they are getting exposed to outside dietary influences. How to prevent this?
The trick is: you have to pack the lunch box before your child resists the urge to opt for convenient processed pre-packaged meals. Yahoo! A lot of patience and a little planning can go a long way for households’ busiest. So, it’s good to prepare healthy lunches well in advance so that you don’t have to scramble for options in the morning rush at home.
Avoid Buying Unhealthy Foods In Bulk.
If you want to buy a treat, choose to buy the smallest package instead of the economy bulk-sized packages. For example, buying a small pack of cheesy popcorn is much better than buying one family pack. This strategy will help your kids to be less tempted and encourage healthy eating habits in children.
Avoid Offering Sweet Treats.
We all know tooth decay is caused by having sugary food and drinks too often. So, as parents and caregivers, your strategy should be to try to make sure you avoid cakes, biscuits, and confectionery in your household. However, there is a crucial difference between the natural sugars found in fruits and milk and the sugars present in packaged juices and cakes. Natural sugar is better for little milk teeth as it has many crucial vitamins and minerals.
So when it’s desserts, it’s a safe bet to base them on fruits and dairy products. We may be living in a text-happy, Facebook-loving world, but kids still love lemonades, protein milkshake, and watermelon smoothie. Check out this page and click on these healthy recipes you want to make for your kiddo.
Start Healthy Eating With Small Proteins.
The next strategy is to use smaller plates, bowls, and utensils for your child to eat with, allowing them to serve themselves when they are old enough to do so safely. You can begin this practice when they are 2 to 4 years old. It will make them feel “like a grown-up” while also helping them learn how much to eat at a time.
Stick To A Strict Meal And Snack Time
Keeping to a regular meal and snack schedule discourages kids from munching on snacks throughout the day or becoming hungry in between meals. Most children require three meals and one snack every day.
And although it’s vital to stick to a particular eating time, do not pressure your child into eating if they are not hungry at mealtime. If you find your child skipping a meal, the strategy here is not to let them “make up for it” with something else. Instead, offer a healthy snack, such as apples or baby carrots, and make sure that they eat enough at their next meal.
Nutritious New Foods: Try, and Try Again
Explaining healthy eating to a child can be stressful. Don’t be discouraged if your kiddo stubbornly turns away from mashed broccoli or strained peas. Patience is the key here. It takes time for children to like a new food’s taste.
Help a picky eater feel more in control of their food choices by posing exciting food questions as an option. For example, instead of just asking, “Do you want tomatoes as a dinner side dish?” what if you ask, “Which would you prefer at dinner: cucumbers or tomatoes?” Try this strategy; it works wonders for your kids.
Listen and Involve
Communication between parents and children about food preferences is fundamental. Give your little ones the chance to voice any feelings and concerns over food. At the same time, it is essential for you to actively encourage children’s involvement in planning menus, food shopping, preparing, and cooking food.
Encouraging eating well does not mean excluding foods they do not like. Instead, a healthier diet is about keeping the right balance and eating more of some foods and less of others.
Medical Advice For Healthy Eating
If you are worried that they’re overeating or not eating enough, fear not! A child’s pediatrician, doctor, or nutritionist is always a click away from you. Get a thorough check-up done for your kids.
Don’t forget to ask these questions to doctors when you meet!
- Do you suggest a vegetarian or vegan diet for my child?
- Are carbohydrates bad for him?
- Does my child need to have a gluten-free diet?
- Are soy-based products better than dairy products?
As they care for your child, only they can explain to you all the strategies to encourage healthy eating in them.
Key Takeaways When It Comes To Healthy Eating In Kids!
From pouring their health drink to tying their shoe, teaching children to do things will pave their way for a healthy, happy, and independent future. The truth is- we won’t always be there to guide them throughout their lives. So teaching them to take care of themselves is essential.
And when it comes to food, what your child eats can either be hugely beneficial or alarmingly unhealthy. As healthy eating is vital for children, you have to take care of it starting now. It’s not always about teaching kids how to eat with a spoon; it’s more about teaching what to put on the spoon that’s important.
So, next time you serve healthy eating foods like rice, dal, and veggies, make sure you follow these strategies to encourage healthy eating in children. Do write to us if any of these strategies work best for your little one.
Until next time…Stay healthy! Stay raw!