Between hectic family schedules and roller coaster routines, helping your child develop healthy eating habits can be difficult. It’s easy to turn to readily available grab-and-go convenience food.
Because the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults, it’s important that you help them cultivate these healthy eating habits early in life.
Here are some of the ways you can help your child develop healthy eating habits
There’re several ways helping your child develop healthy eating habits
Guide rather than dictate meal choices. Provide your child with a vast amount of healthy food choices while carefully removing unhealthy choices like chips, and soda from your household. This will help your child learn how to make healthy food choices in the future.
Teach your child to eat slowly. Your child can learn to detect when they’re hungry or full when they learn to eat slower. You can do this by asking your child to wait at least 15 minutes before offering a second serving this way, you’ll teach their brain to register fullness. Not only is this an important life skill that can help them avoid illnesses like obesity in the future. You could also use the second serving as an opportunity to load on the veggies.
Create family mealtimes. This provides structure in your child’s mind around eating and makes it easier for the child to pick it up as a habit. Do your best to make mealtimes happy with conversation and sharing. It shouldn’t be a time for scolding or arguing as this may lead your child to associate eating with stress.
Let your child participate in shopping and preparing healthy meals. To deepen healthy eating habits in your child, let him/her participate in the meal preparation activities. This provides you with an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. Also, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.
Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating. But snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible. Without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events. Have healthy snacks within reach and at eye level.
You could also set family goals. Perhaps restricting desserts to weekends and only having sodas on weekends. Making sure water bottles are empty before dinner time. to encourage hydration
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Put an end to eating while watching TV. Eating in front of the television or while playing games on gadgets may make it hard for your child to pay attention to feelings of fullness and may lead to overeating.
Help your children to drink more water. One way to do this is to serve water with meals as well as set reminders for drinking water.
Don’t use food to punish or reward your child. Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food causing them to over eat when they do eat. Same goes for using food as reward.
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