Parent’s role in Kids Diet
For a mother what can be more important than her children? Mothers put all of their efforts to try and feed their kids healthy food. Though it’s not easy to feed kids vegetables, fruits, and non-fried, it’s important for sustainable and healthy growth.
Kids have many tantrums when it comes to food. Some kids don’t like lettuce, spinach, and green leafy vegetables, some don’t like sprouts and broccoli, others don’t like pumpkin, cucumber, and zucchini and the list just goes on and on.
So, what should you do to help your kids eat healthy and better? Here are a few tips for your help.
In this article, we will see some key rules and tips to help the parents maintain their kids’ healthy diet
It is the parent’s duty to stock up on food and, so, what will enter your house is solely up to you. Kids prefer junk and fried food but if there is nothing like that in the house when they are hungry, they will eat whatever you offer. So, you can offer them some freshly cut fruits, vegetables, and dairy products as a snack or when they are hungry but it’s not mealtime.
It is very important to fix times for meals because untimely eating can lead to overeating and weight gain. Children need to eat a lot because their bodies are growing and they need a lot of energy. Children need to have three meals, two snacks, and lots of fluids. So, adjust your kids’ schedules accordingly and feed them every few hours and make sure they take a lot of fluids.
Offer some Treats
Offering some sweets, desserts, and junk food once in a while isn’t bad, in fact, it can be used as a reward sometimes to make kids eat the food they don’t usually eat. This keeps the food from becoming forbidden and makes it even more appealing.
Kids Mimic your Actions
You have to be a role model for your kids if you want them to eat healthy. Kids often do just as their parents do, they talk like their parents, sit like them, behave like them and even eat like them. So, if you eat healthy in front of them, chances are they will copy you.
Try New Foods
Children like to eat new food. But sometimes you need to give a food some time in order for your taste buds to get a liking to it. And if you feel like your child is not getting enough nutrients, discuss with a pediatrician about what else can you add to the regular diet to make up for the lack of nutrients.
Don't Comment on Everything
It is a hard job to do this but you have to train yourself to do it. Try not to comment on every eating habit your child has, like what they are choosing to eat, how much they are eating. You have to be as neutral as possible. You have done your part of the job by serving them a balanced meal but you can’t force them to eat it, that’s something they have to do on their own.
Give Kids Options
Making kids eat healthy is a good thing and even if kids throw tantrums which they always do, you should hold your ground because you are doing the right thing as a parent. But you should give your kids some choice, maybe they are ready to eat healthy just not the healthy that you are offering. So, give them some options and they might surprise you with their willingness to eat healthy.
Don't Force them to Clean the Plate
Parents have a habit to tell their kids to finish off everything on their plates, especially Indian parents but this is not good for the kids. This can actually promote overeating and weight gain which is not so healthy. So, instead of forcing kids to eat more than their appetite, let them fill their tummy and leave some food on their plates if they cannot finish it.
Eating healthy is good obviously but sometimes healthy gets boring and tasteless and it gets hard to finish everything on the plate. This is where side dishes come in, pickles, chatni, ketchup, kimchi, even salsa and humus can be used to put flavors in your food. A little amount of these side dishes can enhance your food’s taste and won’t neutralize the healthy effects of your food.
Start at a Young Age
Food preferences develop early in life. Even as a baby, kids have likes and dislikes, so, offer varieties to kids. If kids try new and different foods they will know what can they eat easily and like & what they cannot eat and dislike. However, as mentioned above don’t force them, and as mentioned earlier it takes time for taste buds to take a liking to something, so, in the meantime give your kids a few bites, a few times and if they still don’t like it, they probably won’t.