One of the things that you will notice is that eating habits are learnt behaviors. So what you train you child to eat in his early life will stick with him or her throughout his life. Therefore, creating an environment in which your child will choose to eat healthier food is one of the best steps you can make towards safeguarding his health even as an adult.
As good as this sounds it is hard for most parents to achieve, especially when your child gets hooked on eating pizza, chips, soda, and others foods that have an adverse effect in their life. Moreover, children are nowadays influenced by bright ads and marketing advertisements that encourage them to eat and plead for foods that are unhealthy.
Here are some tips to combat these bad habits at an early age:
Teach your child about nutrition from an early age.
When a child understands a concept it sinks deep. Talk to your kid and educate them on healthy foods. Tell them: “This carrot is rich in vitamin A, which makes your eyes stronger and you get to see well” “Avocados are loaded with good fat that develops your brain”. This encourages them to make healthy food choices.
Keep healthy foods at hand.
Children will eat what is readily available to them. Learn to keep healthy food within their reach. For example, keep a bowl of fruits on the counter-top of your table. Remember that your children will learn many eating habits from the food you have kept in your house. Therefore keeping health food promotes their quick adoption.
Praise them when they make healthy choices.
Whenever you praise your child he or she becomes motivated to do that good thing that makes you happy over and over again. If your kid chooses healthy foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits or low fat dairy, give them a loud praise and a proud smile. It will encourage him to make the same healthy choice repeatedly. Soon it will be a habit.
Be a good role model.
You are the biggest inspiration to your kids. Whatever your children see you eating, they will definitely take it to be the best meal for them. Most people complain that their children have bad habits and go then out in search of that magical recipe that will turn them back to healthier diet. The truth is you must show them that what you are telling them is what you believe in. Actions speak a million times louder than words. Eat healthy food in their presence. It will motivate them.
Make it fun.
Make it your habit to get your kid into the kitchen whenever it is possible and do activities such as peeling, cooking, chopping, picking herbs, and pretty much let them do anything that will make healthy meals fun. Ask them what they like about fruits, vegetables etc. Also talk about specific foods that are healthy for them to eat. Ask them to come up with creative ideas on how to make a great dessert using a list of healthy food. This will make them like and enjoy ahealth diet as they learn to find fun in it.
Practice makes perfect. Be persistent with the need for consuming health foods. Do not give up quickly on your attempt to introduce healthy food to your kids. It may take time. You may even consider introducing it in small quantities. That way it is easier on you both.
In conclusion, the merits of healthy eating habits beginning in childhood and adolescence goes beyond looking good to more advantageous effects such as managing ones weight and avoiding lifestyle related illness such as diabetes. You should definitely ensure you develop healthier eating habits in your child that will last a lifetime.
Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.