Food can be a double-edged sword. It can nourish you, but it can also make you sick. While it can cause disease, it can also provide a cure. At some point, you have to make a conscious choice as to what role food will have in your life.
If you make the right choice, then food will do good things for your body. If you choose wrong or just refuse to make a stand when it comes to your diet, then you’re in for some health issues down the line.
It might not faze you now since it’s pretty common for the body to deteriorate as it ages, but are you really going to have the same cavalier attitude when you’re talking about your children’s health?
As soon as your kids start eating solids, you worry about their nutrition. You want only the best kinds of food for them. You don’t want them to struggle with unhealthy eating habits as you yourself might, so you vow to get them started on positive food choices that will hopefully become lifelong healthy eating habits.
1. Keep it Strictly Healthy
Remember that you are not depriving your children when you don’t give them any of the bad stuff. If they don’t get to experience foods that are full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, or other harmful chemical additives, you shouldn’t regret it.
Your kids are never better off with junk. Stick to wholesome foods and you can be confident that they’re meeting the nutrients their bodies require to grow and develop. Natural foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, etc make very healthy eating for kids.
2. Identify What They Need on a Daily Basis.
There are things that can be established as everyday nutritional essentials. For instance, there are recommendations for daily intake of water per age, so follow them with your children.
Another example is milk intake. The benefits of milk for kids are common knowledge. Milk is really something that should be drunk daily no matter the age since calcium doesn’t stop being an essential nutrient, so keep them in the habit of drinking it daily.
Eating a rainbow, the five a day rule… these are sound eating tenets to live by. Teach them and help them practice these principles. Hopefully, they continue until they’re grown.
3. Emphasize the Importance of three Square Meals.
Establish mealtimes and snack times. Good life habits are often related. For instance, early bedtimes and early risings mean that they wake up in time to enjoy a hearty breakfast, thus teaching them its importance in their diet.
Don’t allow grazing so that they learn to regulate their eating. Letting them nibble here and there throughout the day will mess with any kind of feeding schedule. Time snacks so they don’t end up leaving your kids still too full at actual mealtime.
The training can be frustrating while they’re picky toddlers, but the rewards are worth it when you see them eating their meals properly and falling in with your nutritional plan.
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4. Train them to Pay Attention to Their Bodies’ cues regarding Food
Babies are born in tune with their bodies’ communication regarding needs. They know when their tummies are hungry or full and let you know accordingly. As they get a little bit bigger, you may start unconsciously overriding the messages their bodies communicate, thinking that you know better.
Do you find yourself forcing them to eat more or clean their plates? Such behavior could inadvertently lead to habits of overeating. How about not believing them when they say they’re hungry or full just because it doesn’t make sense to you? They may end up suppressing their bodies’ cues and signals, which will lead to them being at a loss as to what they need.
Respect plays an important role here. Wisdom does, too. It’s important to listen to them and heed their communication to show them that they, too, can trust what their bodies are telling them.
Reinforce Good Eating Habits
Make these healthy habits easy to maintain by keeping the stuff to be avoided out of the house and always having a supply of wholesome foods on hand. Above all, be a good role model so that they’re inspired to continue observing them.