Do you agree that feeding kids is the toughest part of parenting? Even after combining all the blood, sweat, and tears, there’s always some part of the food left on the plate.
Although, kids don’t understand the importance of healthy eating, as a parent it’s our duty to ensure that our kids eat regularly and healthily to perform and grow effectively.
Healthy eating helps to prevent obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
The ideal diet for kids should include whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages, protein-rich foods and loads of fluids.
Here are a few ways to get your little ones to start eating healthy:
- Make a plan
Kids need to eat every three to four hours. Plan the day in a way that your little one gets three proper meals, two snacks, and loads of fluids. Set a time for the meals & snacks and encourage your little one to follow it. If some days, your child chooses not to eat a meal, replace it with a healthy snack, milk or 100 percent fresh organic juice.
- Offer choices
Even though this might seem like a little too much freedom, by offering choices you can get your kids involved and let them have their say so they feel they’re being heard. But you can play smart here by keeping an eye on the supplies. Ensure to buy only healthy foods and then give your kids all the liberty in the world to choose.
- Introduce new foods slowly
How many times have you heard a straight ‘NO’ while asking your kid to try something new? No matter how hard you try, convincing kids to eat new foods is like climbing Mount Everest. Next time, try introducing a food they love, alongside a new food to make trying seem less intimidating or you can describe as much as possible about the food you want your kid to taste.
- Let kids make their own plate
Letting your kids take control of their own plate is a great way to let them experience independence and get them interested in trying new foods. It’s okay even if they choose just one or two things. In general, just remember that meals should include proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, milk and other calcium-rich foods.
- Involve them in cooking
When you cook the meals, ask your little ones to help you in getting the ingredients, reading out a recipe, setting the table, measuring the ingredients, stirring a bowl, tossing a salad or other similar things. There is a high possibility that your kid will eat the food s/he has helped to prepare.
- Lead by an example
Kids are highly influenced by the culture, media and especially with the people around them. So if you’re constantly on a diet or have ill eating habits, your kids will follow you and walk on the same path. Be a role model for your kid and eat healthy yourself. Consider choosing nutritious snacks, eating at the table, and not skipping meals.