Is your child a happy eater or an unhappy eater? Picky eaters are not born, they are made. This can make eating as an unhealthy and unhappy as a process When the issue is not address in the formative years of 2-12 years of a kid’s life,it may lead to many issues including obesity,attention disorders and depression eating disorders when kids grow up into teen. During one of my nutrition lectures I had asked a class of students ”Do your mother let you eat whatever she cooks at home?”And pat came a reply from a girl “Let us?”she roared “ she makes us eat!”.
Make your child a happy eater in the following ways:
1.Follow your child’s appetite
If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force him to eat. Likewise, don’t bribe or force your child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate.The better way is talk to the child about the meal or menu and check if he is really attracted towards it.Then serve a small portion and wait till he or she asks for more all by themselves.This way the child will be content that he has been awarded the freedom to take decision over his food.
2.Stick to the food routine:
Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. Provide juice or milk with the food, and offer water between meals and snacks. Allowing your child to fill up with any other knick-knacks between the meals might decrease his or her appetite for meals. Also stick to same intervals between meals-more or less.Plan your outing accordingly.
3.Make eating fun:
It is important to make meal time a fun time. There are yummy ways to serve vegetables with food art skills.You could actually read a food related books to children to keep them inspired about healthy eating.Serve a variety of brightly colored foods. Try different fun recipes, vary cuisines and involve kids in cooking.
4.Organise your eating out dates with kids:
Do have a occassional junk food dates with kids so that they don’t crave for this and lead to peer pressure emotional eating when they grow up.Introduce them to healthy eating in Sanjeevanam vegetarian restaurant. Enjoy some delicious menu to choose from. This way they will understand that healthy food is not boring!
5.Go food shopping with your kids:
At the super market, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. At the grocery you could teach them to differentiate between fresh food and processed food. Don’t buy anything that you don’t want your child to eat. Also make them assist in cleaning your fridge once in a while,so that understand the importance of healthy eating.
6.Set a good example
Children often relate to their parents in anything they do.So eating is no exceptions.As parents do not discuss too much about food choices and tastes in front of your children. Eat healthy foods in front of them.They are sure to follow.
7.Wean them off electronic gadgets while eating:
Turn off the television and other electronic gadgets during meals. This will help your child focus on eating. Keep in mind that television advertising might also encourage your child to desire sugary foods.
8.Have food theme kid get-togethers:
Collect your children’s friends and arrange small kid meet ups may be once a month with some healthy food as theme. Kids tend to bond with their peer group better, they learn from each other. So you can easily make them eat without any much fuss and slowly they will come out of their food inhibitions.
9.Never prepare separate food items for your kid:
Preparing a separate meal for your child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn’t eat. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred.
10.Cook along with kids:
Food has the power to teach all the academic subjects under the sun.You convert kitchen into a science lab,ingredients and cooking methods can teach History and Geography to kids.This gets food closer to kids and inspires them eat well and stay healthy.
Ignoring unhappy eating in children cannot solve the problem itself. It will lead to long-term eating issues in children. A food log can also help your child’s doctor determine any problems happening. In the meantime, remember that your child’s eating habits won’t likely change overnight — but the small steps you take each day can help promote a lifetime of healthy eating.
Raise your kids well,they will rise and shine.