The most common issue parents face is getting their child to eat healthy meals every single day. Not a single day goes by when your child hasn’t been fussy about what’s on their plate. Like all parents, we understand that you want to ensure that your child is eating healthy and getting the right nutrition.
In this article, we will discuss the top 10 healthy eating habits you should cultivate in your child. They are as follows:
1. Be adventurous
One of the best ways to get your child to start eating healthy is by offering a variety of foods for them to try. Train your child’s taste buds to enjoy many flavours rather than only giving them foods that contain sugar, salt and fat.
Your child might have to try something 5 or more times to actually like it, so don’t give up after the first try. Keep making your child try different home-made food and praise them when they try those foods. Kids can be reluctant in going out of their comfort zone and eating something new, so appreciating it when they do so can be quite beneficial for them.
2. Eat at least 5 colours a day
It is no secret that fruits and vegetables of different colours have different benefits for the human body. Apart from the healthy benefits of eating meals that include many colours, it can be particularly intriguing for kids. Your child will be keener on finishing a plate that is colourful and looks appealing to the eyes.
3. Drink Water
It can get difficult to get your child to have their daily water intake in. What can be useful, is getting them a cool water bottle that they can keep refilling. The type of water bottle you get for them will really impact the amount of water your child has, so make sure it’s something your child will love! Encourage them to carry their water bottle everywhere they go to ensure they’re hydrated all the time!
4. Eat Breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast provides the morning energy boost and sets the mood for the day. Make sure that your child never skips this crucial meal of the day. Even if it’s just a glass of milk and a banana in the morning, make it point to serve breakfast to your child.
5. Listen to Your Stomach
Most parents have the rule of a clean plate – that is, making their child finishing everything that they have been served on the plate. This technique of making your child finish everything may not always be helpful. Rather than this, teach your child to listen to their stomach. Children should know when they are hungry and when they are done eating. This will make sure that your child isn’t over-eating but getting enough food at the same time.
6. Eat at the Table
Most kids tend to have their meals while sitting on the couch watching cartoons on the television, and most parents don’t seem to object this. However, it can be extremely unhealthy to do so, as it can lead to over-eating and eventually obesity. Making your child sit at the dining table to have their meals will reduce snacking, grazing and the risk of choking on their food. Not only this, eating at the table together as a family will increase your bond with your child.
7. Eat slowly
As parents, it would be easier if kids finished their meals in minutes rather than getting distracted and taking hours, but this isn’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle. It takes about 20 minutes for the message of ‘being full’ to reach the brain from the stomach. Therefore, it is a smart idea to encourage your child to eat slowing and chew properly. It can also be beneficial in weight control.
8. Limit Visits to Fast-Food Outlets and Restaurants
It has been a trend among various fast-food places and restaurants to provide “healthy kids meal options”. Although this seems very exciting as parents, to get healthy meals for your child that aren’t home-made, the food may not always be healthy. Going to a restaurant once in a while maybe considerable but making it a habit isn’t quite feasible. Try to make exciting meals at home for your kids to enjoy!
9. Enjoy Cooking
One way of making sure kids eat healthy meals at home is to involve them while you are cooking. Give your child small and simple tasks that will keep them engaged. They will be more likely to enjoy their food if they’ve taken part in making it. The meal will almost be like a reward for them after working so hard preparing it!
10. Be active
Healthy eating won’t be any good if it isn’t paired up with the right amount of physical activity. For children, it is extremely important to engage in exercises to remain healthy, not only physically but also emotionally and socially.
Here are some activities you can encourage your child to take part in to be more active:
• Go cycling with them
• Walk with them
• Take them rock-climbing
This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.