6 Ways to Inculcate Healthy Eating Habits in Kids
By : Priyanka Kharbanda
The foundation of our children depends on a healthy & nutritious diet from their very initial years as they require nutrients to grow. Poor nutrition can cause health problems, excess weight gain and obesity in kids.
Some of the health problems associated with poor nutrition can be very serious, especially as your child grows into an adult. It has been observed that “children who have a healthy weight in their childhood are able to easily manage the same when they grow into adults”, says Pharmacist & Nutritionist Priyanka Kharbanda.
If unhealthy eating habits become a part of their comfortable routines, it can be very hard to bring a change. So, it is very important to start as early as possible.
The preliminary thing is to acknowledge that it is not a tedious task but more of a fun and creative activity of the day with an objective of not only encouraging healthy eating habits in your kids but also to create some happy and exciting memories with them which will be cherished forever.. .
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Whether you’re trying to cajole your toddler to give green veggies a try, or attempting to persuade your child into drinking something other than colas or high-sugar drinks, these healthy tips are worth a try.
- Remove the unhealthy stuff from your kitchen – First thing is to unstock unhealthy foods out of your home, and bringing healthy stuff in, and display some creative ideas to cook and display food with it in an exciting manner! (Helps even with the pickiest kids).
- Give your child healthy snacks – Out of home, especially when your child is in school, there are great chances that he or she will indulge in bad eating habits, thanks to school canteens and vending machines available full of potato chips and chocolates. To encourage them to not blow their pocket change on sugary or salty treats, give them plenty of healthy snacks, such as sliced apples, chocolate & strawberries, whole-grain crackers, light popcorn to bright looking fruit smoothies to bring to school. It will help other kids also to get attracted to the better food.
Once kids get their first taste of crunchy, sweet or spicy foods, it’s hard to get them unhooked, according to nutritionist & pharmacist Priyanka Kharbanda. So, as an example, rather than making those deep-fried & high-carb sumptuous fries with potatoes, try creating it with juicy baby corn. Once it gels with the taste buds of your kids, there is no looking back.
- Stick to a regular schedule for meals – Keeping to a regular meal and snack time schedule is also a good practice as it discourages kids from grazing throughout the day, or becoming too hungry in between meals, which can cause them to compensate by overeating later, the USDA says.
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- Your child should eat just enough – Most children require three meals and two snacks each day, but consult with your child’s pediatrician, doctor or nutritionist if you’re worried that they’re overeating or not eating enough.
- Do not force your child to eat – And although it’s important to stick to an eating schedule, do not pressure your child into eating if they sometimes say that they are not hungry at mealtime.
- Do not make your child overeat – If your child skips a meal, do not let them “make up for it” with candy or cookies, instead, offer a healthy snack, such as dry fruits or a dark chocolate cookie, and make sure that they eat enough at their next full meal.
The final and the most important word is to keep it fun and positive. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens understand the benefits of eating healthy and let them develop a proud self-image which is born out of pure rationale! Give your kid a lifetime of healthy Body & Mind.
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