6 Tips for Raising Kids with Healthy Habits
In the last 14 years of my experience as a child specialist, I have come across parents always worried about their kids’ unhealthy eating habits.
Some parents complained about their child being a fussy eater, while some said it is difficult to make the child eat anything. And there were parents who complained about their kids being inclined more towards the junk food like pasta, burger, pizza, chips etc.
It is my observation, most of the parents only looked at the problem and didn’t actually looked at the root cause.
Tell me, is it a fault of a child for developing such kind of eating habits? Was the child born as a fussy eater?
A child is extremely adaptive in his/her former years of growing. It is the responsibility of a parent to introduce and teach healthy eating at a tender age of a child. But parents now a days are so busy in their life that they tend to forget that inculcating healthy habits is important, for the overall development and growth of their child.
So, what should you do as parents, to inculcate healthy eating habits for your child?
Here, I have listed 6 important habits which parents should include in their routine. Though there are many things which needs to be done but basis my experience, I have found these to be more effective.
1. EATING BREAKFAST EVERYDAY
Eating breakfast within couple of hours after waking up is the healthiest habit for a child to learn. The first meal helps in setting a day and it also helps in maintaining healthier weight. Wake up your child 10 mins earlier, so that the child has time to eat comfortably. Also, keep a variety of food items each day than just a paratha or bread every day. This way your child would look forward to have a breakfast.
2. MAINTAINING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
Trust your child, if he/she hungry or not. Let your child decide if he/she has eaten enough or not. Do not force your child to eat if he/she is not hungry. Forcing your child to eat all the time will make the child food averse. And the child will never understand the importance of loving and enjoying food.
3. ENJOY THE MEAL TOGETHER
Eat minimum one meal together. Enjoying the meal together as a family plays an important role for overall development. It gives you an opportunity to understand each other, to connect with each other, to discuss about your day. Eating together helps in building a bond with your child. And it further makes him/her feel secure.Also, try to avoid eating while sitting in front of Television.
4. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO MAKE INTELLIGENT FOOD CHOICES
Encourage your child to choose food items like fruits, nuts, milk etc. over eating junk food or fast food like chips, burger, pizza, French fries.
Teach them how healthy fruits and vegetable are in vitamins, proteins, carbs, fibre etc.
Though you don’t have to completely stop giving junk or fried food, but these food items should be given occasionally.
5. INVOLVE CHILDREN IN DECIDING THE MENU
Taking your child’s input in deciding the menu will make him learn about the nutritional value, calorie intake of various food items. It will also make the child feel part of the family.
It is from my personal experience. Each time when my child contributed in deciding what to cook, he was more enthusiastic in eating the food.
6. BE A ROLE MODEL
Children learn from what they see. If you develop healthy habits yourself, the child will follow. Always enjoy and be happy while eating, make good choices when you go out.
Set a positive example for your child to follow.
If you have any queries related to child diseases like stuffy nose, cold, cough, fever, stomach ache, or queries related to vaccination and immunization, visit Felix hospital and meet the child specialist.