How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits in Kids: 5 Effective Ways

Healthy Eating Habits in Kids


Knowing what your kid’s diet is, can be very challenging. Their likes and dislikes are dynamic, and so does their nourishment. It has to be nutritional, healthy, and fun at the same time. But in recent times, they have gotten addicted to junk food and incorporated unhealthy eating habits.

It is crucial for us to remember that they are not born craving pizza and sodas and distaste vegetables. Encourage them to make healthy choices. This can set a foundation for a wholesome lifestyle that they will carry into adulthood. These tips will guide you along the way as you instill these habits without any fuss.

1. Regularly Scheduled meals with the family

Eating together as a family can be beneficial for both children as well as adults. Elders tend to take more servings of fruits and vegetables in families who eat together. Hence, they tend to be more nutritious. Also, kids are more open to trying a wider variety of foods and become less picky when eating as a family.

Eating together also helps the family to communicate with each other. It helps strengthen ties and build better relationships. This leads to better self-esteem. It lowers the risk of eating disorders, depression, obesity, and substance abuse. Family meals can be a great way to set an example of good eating habits and social behaviors. Limiting meals to a reasonable length of time will help the kids stay focused during the meal.

If you don’t find time to eat together with kids or are working parents, you can send your child to daycare centers. I sent my kids to https://www.thegreenelephant.com.au/ during my stay in Australia, and they helped me develop nutritional eating habits in my kids. 

2. Let kids choose what is on their plate.

Once in a while, let the kids choose the menu for the meals. When they have some say in the matter or help prepare the meal, the enthusiasm to eat increases. Respect their food preferences; likes and dislikes develop at an early stage. Encourage them to try a variety of vegetables and fruits, even if for a bite.

Presenting a variety of colors and textures in their meal will encourage them to try different food. But this should be done slowly so as not to overwhelm the child. Don’t expect them to eat as much as you do. Respect their hunger cues.

3. Keep out media from meals.

Our habits around eating meals give us energy, connect us to the community, and define who we are. Wrong practices and habits can affect us in negative ways. The use of screens is a distraction and can lead to overeating during meals. Research shows a significant decrease in the percentage of body fat in kids who have reduced their screen time during meals.

As adults, you must set good examples for your kids at the dinner table. Avoid using your phone, laptop, tablet, or even radio. Instead of these, communicate with your family. Mealtime is an important time for family conversations and sharing stories about your day. This should be continued in all meals to get the credit of the day. 

4. Avoid force-feeding

Offer a small part of the food. If your child finishes it and wants some more, you can offer a second helping. This reduces waste and will be appetite-friendly for your child. Do not force feed. Let your child respond to the feeling of hunger and fullness. If your child ignores the internal signal, they will be confused and not know when to stop eating. Avoid providing an alternative for a part of a meal that your child did not eat. They might have a small appetite. 

5. Eat slowly

Eating slowly is one of the crucial steps of healthy eating habits. It prevents overeating and other health issues. Research shows that kids who tend to eat slowly are more in sync with their bodies and mind than children who do not. Slower eating satisfies hunger properly. It also helps in proper digestion and faster metabolism.  

To Sum up:

Children need to be taught healthy eating habits to prevent the risk of obesity. Families should avoid using food as a reward system and stop giving children unhealthy foods when they do good.

 

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