Habits are developed gradually as an individual grows up. It is easy for parents to develop healthy eating habits in their children by adopting numerous strategies. Nutrition plays an important role in development. Children no matter which age group they belong, need healthy nutrition.
This nutrition has a direct impact on the overall growth and development of the mind and body. Deficiencies of any kind, such as specific vitamin deficiency, mineral or even electrolyte deficiency, can hinder the normal growth process. Nutritional deficiencies can even result in numerous diseases.
Tips To Encourage Healthy Eating
Children and parents share the same lifestyle. The lifestyle and habits which parents live are translated into children’s life. Parents are the inspirers for children. Furthermore, during childhood, parents enjoy more control over children in terms of choices and limitations. This, along with some strategies, can help to develop healthy eating patterns in children.
Despite busy schedules and work routines, parents should encourage family meals. This allows family members to come and sit together and enjoy a meal. In addition to healthy eating encouragement, family meals also have various benefits for the mental and behavioral well-being of children.
Sitting and eating together can even make boring meals taste better. You may introduce healthy food choices such as
- Fresh fruits and vegetables by adding them to salads
- Whole grains such as eatables made out of wheat, barley and rye
- Protein-rich diets
- Be more reluctant to add fried food, unhealthy snacks and beverages
You may even talk about the benefits of healthy eating. And even use real-time transformational stories to inspire children to eat healthily. Teens might turn up their noses, but studies show that teens use meal times to connect with parents to have a word and discuss matters. Thus a very useful time to bring family members closes enough.
Stock Up On Healthy Foods
Children have a high metabolism which makes them hungrier more often. When feeling hungry, children can munch on anything that is available to them. Stocking up healthy foods can also significantly promote healthy eating in children. Follow these guidelines
Add More Fruits And Vegetables
Try to bring in seasonal fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Colorful and fresh fruits and vegetables might tempt children when they feel hunger. Furthermore, these can be eaten raw. Children often like things which they can eat while moving around. Eating some portion of vegetables and fruits per meal eventually helps to develop the taste.
Make Healthy Snacks Available
Healthy habits also require some effort. Parents should take out some time and put in some effort to make healthy snacks. Make it available to children, so they are available at hand and ready to eat.
Introduce Protein Sources
Parents can add a well-balanced diet to their children’s routine. Protein is also an important part of the diet. Children demand more protein as their bodies are growing and more muscle mass is developing. There are numerous healthy protein choices such as fish, lean meat, nuts, and pulses.
Encourage and use whole grains in snacks and other food recipes. Choose whole grains over refined grains. It is rich in fiber and is also helpful in keeping the gut healthy. Moreover, it also keeps them fuller for longer.
Limit Fat Intake
Try out making recipes by methods other than frying, such as grilling, roasting, and steaming. Discourage deep-fried foods. Also, encourage them to take less of fast food as it is again loaded with fats and encourage them to eat home-prepared foods instead.
Limit Sugary Drinks
Avoid keeping sodas and sugary beverages at home; instead, you may promote intake of fresh fruit juice and dairy beverages. These are nutritious and promote healthy nourishment.
Be A Role Model
Practice healthy eating habits yourself; only then you would be able to translate the same to your children. Parents might even teach children to take control of portion size. Children are inspired by parents. Be reluctant to drink alcohol and other drinks in front of children.
Also, often discuss the impact of what is eaten and drunk on overall health. When it comes to healthy eating patterns, avoiding alcohol plays a significant role. It is better to get treatment if there is an addiction problem. More targeted treatment can be acquired if want to give up on addiction, such as alcohol withdrawal management therapy to get better.
Do Not Battle Over Food
This is very crucial as battling over food may make children rebellious. Rather use strategies such as bargaining and rewarding children to promote healthy eating. Do not make your children feel as they have no control over what to eat. Give your children choices but within healthy limits. This is also a good way to promote healthy food choices and likes among children.
Get Kids Involved
This is again a good strategy that promotes healthy eating habits in children. There are numerous ways through which parents can involve their children. You may engage children directly in the food preparation process or by making them serve and take part in other activities such as food storage.
It is better to choose and assign age oriented tasks to them. Being engaged in the food making process encourages the desire to taste food and thus promote eating. It will also help to develop a habit of preparing their own meal all by themselves in future. Engaging children in the food making process is also beneficial for parents as they get a helping hand in many tasks.
Almost all of the parents are concerned about the ways they can teach and promote healthy eating to their children. During the early years of life, parents enjoy and hold much control over children. Adopting certain strategies can help parents to develop healthy eating patterns in children successfully. It is also very beneficial to have quality family time. Sharing food together builds a strong bond between family members.