During a child’s first 0-5 years, he is growing at an alarming rate, and also requires additional energy for play. The right nutrition is needed to ensure growth and set a healthy foundation for life. It isn’t easy getting kids to eat right, but the following advice should help.
Establish regular meal times
When you establish regular meal times, your kids are less likely to nibble on junk food. Not only that, but eating meals together helps you bond with your children, and instills the value of good communication. Many nutritionists advise against preparing special foods for your children, but instead recommend having them eat the same things you do. Kids should be given something else to eat only if they first try what is on their plate.
Offer healthy snacks
Even if you eat regular healthy meals, your children may still want snacks. Avoid buying unhealthy snacks such as potato chips and cookies, and instead opt for healthy choices such as:
- Apple slices
- Fruit cups
It is important that you model good behavior and eat healthy snacks as well. You can’t expect your kids to be happy eating fruit if you are enjoying a candy bar. The same can be said when eating out-if you want your little ones to substitute French fries for apple wedges, you should be willing to do the same thing.
Don’t be too Strict
Becoming too uptight about your child’s diet can actually cause him or her to crave unhealthy foods even more. Make an effort to eat right on a regular basis, but don’t be afraid to reward your son or daughter with a salty or sugary treat once in a while.
Teaching your kids to eat right while they are young will have long-lasting effects, as those who are taught well from an early age tend to continue doing so well into adulthood. By emphasizing nutrition, you are also doing your part to combat the childhood obesity.