Healthy eating habits are installed from an early age. Surely children learn by observing their examples, mostly parents; but they also learn by the rules, norms and habits their parents impose.
Incorporating good healthy eating habits in children is a continuous struggle for most parents, especially in today’s’ world of food over-saturation. Our children are daily exposed to the influence of advertising, which insistently recommends trying more and more new products, often harmful and devoid of nutrition. To inspire children to have healthy food is a continuous process that requires stimulation, persistence, and creativity.
Everything begins with you and the nutritional habits that you insinuate from childhood. Children observe their parents and perceive their actions to be the ultimate truth. It is in your power to make healthy changes to your family!
The transition to an active, healthy lifestyle is a very important moment in the formation of healthy habits in the family, children in particular. It is important for parents to consider certain guidelines so that they can encourage their children to establish and maintain wholesome eating habits.
Tips to help your children develop the right eating habits:
Introduce your child to a healthy diet as early as possible. Habits from childhood usually last a lifetime. To cope with how to install this regime in your children’s’ lifestyles, we have derived some useful tips:
- It is at home that children learn to eat well; and in a healthy and conscious way. Education begins at home, and parents are the most important role model for their children. Therefore, it is important to question your own behaviour from time to time. Eating at the table at orderly hours, and maintaining a balanced diet i.e eating sufficient fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins are habits that you should imply.
- Show your kids that eating healthy is fun and enjoyable! Create a pleasant atmosphere by setting the table nicely. The appealing presentation will create an impulse for craving food.
- Eating must not mean compulsion. Children should decide for themselves if and how much they want to eat. Trust your child and his natural saturation mechanism. Not every child eats the same amount every day.
- Be creative for inspiring healthy eating habits and introduce nutritious food like fruits and vegetables into a colourful and attractive way.
- Encourage the independent eating of your children, even if this requires a lot of patience.
- Children do not need ‘special’ food. They can participate in the households’ normal routine diet.
- Children have very different values, usually feel invincible and are not bothered about health. Think about the advantages for them IN THAT MOMENT. Such as; to become stronger, better practice for their favourite sport, being more focused at school, Become as big as …, run faster etc.
- Include your child in menu planning, because their involvement and commitment will be a great opportunity to educate and teach them more about food and nutrients.
- No tablet, iPad, television or mobile phone at the time of food should be used by anyone. All attention should be focused on the meal because the mealtime is an opportunity for the family to be together and interact.
- Do not let your kids eat and drink too many sweets. Also, high-fat fast food should not be so often on the menu.
- Children should also be allowed to drink while eating. However, it should be avoided that children drink half a litre of liquid directly before eating and thus are already full.
Children eat what they like, especially sweets. The taste for sweet is innate, after all, already the mother’s milk is the first sweet experience. In contrast, children usually reject bitter and sour foods. Children like to use their senses when eating. Parents, especially mothers, are well aware of their kid’s needs regarding food. They are worried and concerned regarding their child’s better growth and development. A healthy diet is the ultimate medicine for protection against most diseases. To learn to eat well is to learn to live better.