Childhood obesity can be prevented. Teach your kid to forge a healthy realtionship with his food.
Healthy eating habits in childhood lay the foundation for a long and healthy life. A person’s relationship with food is formed at infancy and carries through for life. Children that eat healthily have level moods, sharp minds and stable energy levels.
Sadly, peer pressure and media advertising can all hamper your efforts to get your child to eat healthily.
By following the simple steps set out in this article, you as the parent can instill healthy eating habits in your children without making the dinner table a battleground.
It is only natural that children will prefer foods that they enjoy most; therefore you should aim to make the healthiest options most appealing. As a parent, you are your child’s biggest role model and therefore you have to model good eating habits to your child.
Eating meals together as a family daily is a good way to build family ties. It is also said to increase the appetite. Children who have breakfast with their families usually do better in school and kids who have at least one meal with the family, are less likely to submit to peer pressure.
Home Cooked Meals
Home cooked meals are generally healthier than restaurant or fast food meals that contain a lot of salt, fat and sugar. Dining out should be saved for special occasions.
Cooking should be a family affair. Kids are more likely to eat less-favored meals if they were involved in the preparation. Let your child help select the freshest fruits and vegetables when you go grocery shopping and let him or her help with the preparation of meals.
Let your child choose from two to three healthy lunchbox options. By limiting his or her choices to healthy options, you know that it will be a healthy lunch box and your child still gets to decide what he or she wants to eat.
Teach your child about food labels and what that means in terms of nutritional values of the different foods. This information will stick with a child and always be in his or her mind when he or she chooses a snack.
Stock up on healthy snacks and beverages for the home while limiting empty calorie snacks such as cookies, chips and sodas. Rather keep whole grain cracker bread, fruits, vegetables, pure fruit juice, milk and water in the home. This will ensure that your children become used to eating healthy snacks. Limit snacks to 2 per day.
Portion sizes for children should be limited. Do not force or bribe them to empty a full plate of food, but instead allow them to have a little bit more if they are still hungry. Food or sweets should never be used as a bribe.
Introducing New Foods
Many children are picky eaters. Be sure that your child is rested and hungry when you decide to introduce a new food. The experience should be fun; therefore the food should be cut into unusual shapes and served with some of the child’s favorite foods.