Do not force a kid to eat – 7 healthy tips to help a child to treat a food right
Dieticians say: many habits come from childhood, including eating ones: after meals – chocolate, eating while watching TV, cookies as snacks. Parental pressure also often plays an important role – parents literally force their children to eat.
Let’s talk about what we can do for children. How should we teach them to treat food rightly?
Count the child’s BMI (it is probably fine)
If the child’s appearance disturbs you, calculate his/her body mass index. Children have lower BMI rates than adults, ranging from 15 to 18.5 depending on age. If everything is okay, work primarily on your perception.
Try to avoid talking about weight in the family in general. The fewer grades – the better because there is more acceptance. This also applies to product evaluation.
Share the responsibility
Parents are responsible for what food is in the fridge, the time and place of eating. But how much to eat and whether to eat at all – let the child decide.
Create a family tradition
Try to gather at the table during breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or at least once a day). Turn off the TV, remove the gadgets and books. Talk about your plans for the next day or, if you are going to have dinner, how each family member has spent time.
Introduce healthful habits
Offer vegetables, fruits, yogurts, whole wheat bread as a snack. The more there are readily available fruits in the house – the more often and more willingly children consume it.
Try to add more fruit and bran to your breakfasts. Increase the number of vegetables, add them to garnish, cereals, pasta. Eat a salad or a couple of vegetables during meals.
Nutrition should be balanced and diverse: vegetables, fruits, grains. During a certain period of time children (from 2 to 6 years) may experience food neophobia (refusing unknown food) – this is normal: try to offer a new product more often (without coercion and violence) and children are likely to accept it.
Choose the right additives
Reduce oil usage, choose less fatty meat. Instead of cookies try a useful replacement, instead of juices and sugar-containing drinks – water or tea. Most children overeat salt. Sausages, bacon, chips, salty nuts, salty crackers, pizza, ketchup, and other sauces – review your child’s menu and your own too and try to minimize these products.
Avoid fast, forced, and abundant feeding. Excessive, explicit parental control over choice and quantity of food will only do harm. Don’t use food as a reward – «Eat soup and you’ll get a chocolate». Children, like adults, eat more when they are served large portions – let them choose the amount of food they want to eat.
Today we can do everything possible not to develop kid’s negative eating habits.