8 Ways to Get Your Children to Eat Healthy Food

10 November 2015 02:41 pm

Healthy Food

A healthy diet will make a healthy child. But how do you get a child to eat healthy food? Here are 10 easy ways to help you tackle the ‘food battle’ at home.

1.Start Early

Experts believe that some food preferences are shaped even as early as infancy, when the child tastes their first solid food. Most mothers introduce bananas as the first solid food. This favours a shift towards sweet food as opposed to ones like vegetables. Start with vegetables and introduce fruits later.

2.Disguise food

An easy way to get your children to eat healthier and win their ‘stomachs’ is to mix good food (which they might hate) with the ones they like. But the food in disguise should not overpower the others. Another similar but not so ‘disguised’ way is to dip fruits and vegetables in sauces or other special dips to make them more palatable.

3.Don’t punish with food

When the more lenient measures won’t give results, parents often resort to threats and punishments. Children will eat when they are hungry. So allow them to leave the table when they think they had enough. But if they do not eat anything and ask for their favourite foodor expect a snack later, do not give in. Let them have the same meal as the snack. Do not try to bribe the children out of bad behaviour by promising them food they like.

4.Make the dining table a pleasant place

Children will make good behaviour into habits only if you get them to practise it everyday. Start from the dining table. It is better that everyone can sit around to enjoy the meal together. Make sure everyone is comfortable. Ban teasing or threatening at the table. Do not bring out family issues at the table, though it might be tempting. Let everyone enjoy the meal and take time to eat slowly. Have a light conversation at the table and get everyone to participate.

5.Keep away from television

Eating in front of the television is one habit your children can do away with. Studies have found that children who watch television have unhealthy eating habits compared to children that eat away from television. When the attention is taken away from food, they tend to consume more fat and sugar with fewer fruits and vegetables. Try to have more ‘family meals’ with your television switched off. It will foster better eating habits and more importantly, improve the bonding among family members.

6.Stay active

When you engage in physical activities, your appetite improves. Encourage your children to involve in sports at school or get them to play outside. Set an example yourself by staying active. This behaviour will keep your children away from computers, video games and television.

7.‘No Thank You Bite’

When your child is refusing to eat food, you can enforce the ‘No Thank You Bite’. It is a simple rule that you have to eat at least a single bite from everything on the plate. This may be a bit difficult to begin but as you move along, children will realize that some food, which they hated initially are not as bad as they thought they were. This is best started on a toddler and you can introduce new food items every few days.

8.Cut off desserts

You do not need to have desserts after every meal. This might make the child eat less of the meal, hoping to fill up with dessert. Make desserts an occasional treat. And when you do, make them as balanced as possible and include fruits and vegetables whenever possible. (Images courtesy internet)

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