Greetings to our readers!
Through this blog, we will cater to your concerns for the eating patterns of your child, the topic that has been taking different forms right from the time you became a parent, especially mother! Read ahead and if it connects with you even a bit, gear up further.
Granny suggests this, mother suggests that, father says this, grandpa says that…………… When it comes to raising the kids, we resort to every possible person, site and blog for providing the best possible solution to the nimiety of questions that make you worried about your child’s eating habits. (And this means you are reading this blog too.)
No wonder! Feeding children sometimes seem to be like a monstrous task for the parents, may be due to the picky eaters, junk food lovers, under or over eaters around them. What all of us want is healthy and nutritious food for our children which is important for their overall growth and development. Isn’t it?
We am not going to share any recipe of a miracle that would instantly reverse the eating scenario at your home and make your kids love Bitter Gourd (Karela), Capsicum (Shimla Mirch), Bottle Gourd (Lauki/ Ghiya), and the like. I am sure with these names, your child’s face is on your mind and your interest in reading this article further, has stepped up one ladder at least.
What you will find here is a few little steps that you can easily place in your daily routine, which I feel, would definitely benefit you and your children in the long run.
Involve your kids in planning the meals and preparation too
An exposure to all the aspects involved in planning of meal menu would teach them life skills like organising, being independent and on top of that, it would encourage them to eat better. When they get involved in the process of preparing the food, they will learn to appreciate the food. You will relate to better with this example. Prior to marriage (I am not keeping it gender biased, it is for both you and your spouse) or may be before you learnt cooking, make a list of the food items that you didn’t like to eat and compare it with the list of foods that you eat now. Assess the difference yourself!
Be an examplar for your child
Do not ask them to do things or eat things that even you don’t. When you want your child to follow something, you got to give them something or someone to look up to. Yes! You need be the role model for your children. And you are in a better place to decide how. Of course one way is to follow healthy eating habits yourself.
Food should not be an incentive or punishment
Let the kids be grateful for the food that they are getting. Ingrain the importance of each bite. If you make them feel that they are being punished by being served the food that they do not eat, they will definitely keep the item in the ‘no no’ book. Generally, we keep the junk foods, may be chocolate, or a burger or anything as a reward and that unknowingly creates an impression on the little ones that they are as good as a reward fixing their place in their ‘Love to eat book’.
Keep junk food as the ‘Sometimes’ food only
The off limit foods generate more interest among the children. Do not totally forbid junk food as doing so would result in them craving for it and will indulge in over eating the same when given a chance. You can give them the liberty of eating the junk food of their choice once in a while making it sure that they consume it in small portion.
Load up your home eatery with healthy food choices
It is natural for the kids to have the hunger for ‘not this, not that but something’ (what else could be on their mind, some munchies, some chips, cookies, chocolate or something). Give them healthy food list to choose from, this will limit their intake to nutritious and healthy snacking. I am sure you have a list already on your mind.
Set family meal time each day........ Good for you, good for them!
Keeping the same time for serving the food each day (as far as possible), would relieve you from the daily hassles of keeping a track of what they have eaten and when. To add on to your respite, your child will start feeling hungry at the same time.
Don’t be a ‘Finish the Food Mom’
We have been fed with the notion that we should not leave food in the plate, which is as such correct. Rather than putting it in this form, won’t it be better to make them ingrain that they should serve a small portion only in one go? If we are asking the child to finish the food in the plate, we are in one way or the other forcing them to over eat, which in the long run would result in them disliking that nutritious food to a greater extent (I am sure you do not have to ask them to finish the junk food, as they are well equipped to do that by themselves). Teach your child to take smaller portions of food. This will make sure that they do not waste the food and simultaneously would train them to eat only to the extent of their hunger.
Active Kids, Healthy Kids
If you think that loading your child with nutritious food is just the right thing to relieve you of achieving your motto of good health for your child, trust me failure is again on the cards. Until and unless you incorporate physical activities into the routine, you will again be on a hunt for remedies of this or that. An active routine will not only add to their good health but also will make them hungry, and when you offer them healthy food at that time, they will surely gobble it up.
So what say! Is it just a good to read thing or something you could actually try with your kids? Well! Not only kids, but the points mentioned above could benefit the elders as well!
If not all, try a few and you could continue and tell others also about the not so magical but effective tools.