Developing healthy food habits

 
Developing healthy food habits

Children learn from your behaviour. Changing your eating habits will help them develop healthy eating habits as well.

No human can stay hungry for long. Hunger is an integral part of survival. Every child has his/her own set of likes and dislikes when it comes to food. So the problem should not be that a child does not eat, rather the problem is that the child does not always eat what his/her parent wants them to eat. Every child likes something or the other. Identify that and feed them that. Introduce new foods along with their favourite foods.

A few things which you can keep in mind:

  • Avoid introducing junk foods with high taste levels at a young age: For example, if you introduce chocolate too soon, your child will be habituated to an intense sugary taste. Also, chocolates, biscuits, wafers have more calories. So if children eat 4-5 chocolates or biscuits, their calorie count is fulfilled and they will not require any more food for the whole day. These foods are highly rich in calories but do not provide other quality nutrition. Eating excess junk food will result in nutrient deficiency when they grow old.
  • Stop giving any junk food altogether: If you totally stop giving chocolates or biscuits, the child will gradually divert towards healthy nutritious food because no one can survive without food. You will have to work hard to develop a new habit of eating healthy and this can be time consuming and can demand a lot of patience. 
  • Work as a team: When you know some things are not right for your child’s health, sit with the entire family and convince everyone to not give junk food every time a child demands. By being stricter, gradually your child will develop healthy eating habits.
  • Be a role model: If you want your child to follow your instructions, you too will have to say goodbye to your junk food habits. A child learns the most from his parents. Eat healthy and so will your children.
  • A frequent intake of sugar and sugary foods and drinks between meals causes tooth decay. Snacks and drinks taken between meals should be sugar-free.
  • Do not add more salt in the food either while cooking or at the table, as babies’ kidneys are not fully developed.
  • Every day, children need three meals plus snacks. Provide nutritious meals and snacks.
  • Young children are very active and have high energy (calorie) and nutrient needs in proportion to their small body size.



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Helping child to chew food properly

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Helping Children eat food on their own

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If your child does not like milk or takes time to have a glass of milk every morning, do not get impatient.

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It is not right to completely put the blame on kids for their disinterest in healthy food. As parents, we need to reflect on ourselves and take necessary measures for the same.

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For overweight children, you cannot just take away interesting food altogether. It needs to happen gradually over the time.

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