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HEALTHY EATING FOR CHILDREN
Getting kids to eat their greens to stay healthy can be a struggle. It is especially tougher for working parents to monitor their children’s diet, due to their busy schedule.
A healthy diet has many potential benefits such as stabilised energy and moods which eventually improves a child’s mental capacity and allows them to focus better and improves their overall wellbeing. A child with a balanced mental and emotional state is less likely to suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Check out some tips below to encourage kids to eat healthy.
1.Make a schedule
Plan a schedule and stick to it. For an example, children need to eat every three to four hours and it can be a combination of three meal times with two snack times paired with a large intake of fluids. Working around a fixed plan will help with your kids achieve a balanced diet while the whole family can have their meals together. The main meal of the day is breakfast and it is especially important to serve breakfast with a variety of nutritious food.
2.Have a plan
Another way to get children on board with a healthy eating habit is by preparing a meal plan. This can be done in a fun way by getting kids involved in the planning. Allow them to choose their choice of vegetable and what days they would like to have them. This meal plan can also be done for snack time as well. For instance, healthy oatmeal or low-sugar cookies are great choices for kids who are looking to snack on something sweet. During party or social events, do prepare and bring along nutritious food from home. Teach a child to moderate the food they consume at a party and mix it with what they have brought from home. Ensure that they always have a bottle of water in hand and educate them to not consume too much sweetened drinks.
3. Adopt a slow approach
An important point to note is to never force kids to eat healthy by just telling them. Kids learn best through examples. To entice a young child, tell them that their favourite cartoon character loves or eats a certain vegetable to encourage them. Take Popeye for an example, a cartoon character who gets stronger when he eats spinach. It is however, perfectly fine to treat them with candies or fast food occasionally or as a reward.
4. Involve them from the start
Get kids involved in tasks like buying groceries and meal preparations. Give them the opportunity to choose fruits and vegetables that they prefer. By doing so, kids will be more interested to eat what they have selected and as they grow older, they can take on more responsibilities such as making their own grocery list. Make the kitchen a fun and social place. Moreover, it’s a good way to get kids to learn how to read food labels!
5. Be a positive role model
Children learn best from their parents. So, it is important that parents demonstrate healthy eating habits by including plenty of vegetables and fruits in their diet. Teach children by example and make them understand the benefits of eating healthy and the importance of it.