7 Simple Tricks to Inculcate Healthy Eating Habits in Your Child

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Many of the habits adopted during the early days define how the rest of your life is going to be. If you have a child, you must focus on building healthier eating habits in him/her. These will not just benefit the child now, but in later life too. This is how you can improve your child’s nutrition.

A well-balanced diet and good eating habits in children play a pivotal role in their physical and mental development. When children learn to adopt healthy food habits at a young age, they live healthier and more productive lives as they grow. Sometimes, parents tend to have a tough time with kids who are picky eaters, and it is like a herculean task to convince the child to eat certain healthy foods. Thus, parents need to keep a track of the child’s eating habits right from the beginning. Eating right can prevent childhood obesity, diseases, infections, and allergies. One will be able to boost immunity and stay hale and hearty. These are some tips to imbibe healthy eating habits in your child.

7 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCULCATE RIGHT EATING HABITS IN YOUR CHILD

Start the little one’s day with a healthy breakfast to improve concentration and memory. The meals should be healthy containing fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lentils. Avoid junk, spicy, oily, and canned food. Cheat food should be allowed only on weekends.
Do not allow the child to eat while watching TV or while using a mobile phone. Encourage the child to eat slowly and chew the food properly to avoid acidity. Encourage your child to focus on the food’s texture, and savor its taste and aroma.
Make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing with children. Let the child eat by himself/ herself along with everyone.
Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals to know about their food preferences, and teach them about nutrition. Let your children try various foods if they are willing to do so. Do not stop them from trying.
If sweets or chocolates are used as a reward, children may think that these foods are better than other foods. Do not tell the child that he/she will get dessert If he/she finishes dal rice or vegetables as that sends the wrong message about other foods.
 Read food labels and limit foods having trans fat. Make it easy for the little one to choose healthy snacking options such as fruits, peanut butter, celery, khakhra, nuts, popcorn, chana, masala puri, whole-grain crackers, and cheese. Oily or finger foods should be avoided.
Try to make them drink water instead of colas, sodas, or other sweetened beverages. Cooking meals at home can help to monitor the oil and salt intake of the child.

(With inputs from Dr. Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharadi Pune)


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