As a parent, it can be frustrating to try to force your child to eat certain foods. The young palette often does not appreciate new colors, tastes and textures in food. But by teaching children good eating habits early in life, they can help them continue to choose healthy lives!
Every child is different. Some cater to fruits and vegetables eaten three times a day, others eat many small portions and are infinitely picky. There is no “right” way for your child to eat until he / she gains weight and develops with the right tools. However, it is important to continue to offer the child a variety of foods, even if they are particularly picky about what they put in their mouths. That way, even if a child doesn’t balance their diet on certain days, their weekly diet will be rounded. Just keep in mind that as long as parents take a healthy choice model and constantly offer (don’t put pressure on) the child, eventually the child will try them too!
Here are some tips to make sure your child is eating properly:
– Feed your child a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include foods that are different in color for both nutritional and aesthetic purposes.
– Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables from an early age. This helps the child to develop healthy eating habits early on
– Model healthy eating habits. Kids often want to eat everything their parents eat, so make sure it’s nutritious!
– Add fruits and vegetables to your child’s favorite dishes. For example, pasta sauce, which is rich in diced vegetables, or add cucumbers and sprouts to a sandwich.
The main step in a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of processed food in your child’s diet. Cookies, candy, and other packaged snacks contain large amounts of sugar and artificial flavors or colors. Even fruit drinks are in the same unhealthy category! Processed foods are packed with a high calorie content that does not have much nutritional value. Not only that, but all the chemicals in these foods can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, poor attention, and obesity in children. Parents often find that removing processed foods from a child’s diet significantly improves overall physical and mental health.
Here are some tips on how to eat whole foods:
– Avoid processed / sweet snacks: chips, biscuits, donuts, candy, etc.
100% fruit juice instead of sweet drinks (soda, iced tea, fruit drinks, etc.)
– Baked potatoes, not fries
– Use whole wheat instead of white bread / pasta / flour
– Oatmeal instead of sweet breakfast porridge
– Pieces of chicken or turkey meat remained instead of processed cold cuts
– strips of fried chicken breast rather than store-bought chicken nuggets
– Air popcorn instead of chips
– Popsicles are made from 100% pure fruit juice
– Fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks: apples, bananas, berries, grapes, celery, carrots, cauliflower, etc.