Getting your child to have a varied and balanced diet is something of a challenge for many parents out there. Of course you want your children to get all the nutrients they need and also, you don’t want them to be a fussy eater as they grow into adulthood-they’d be missing out on lot that’s for sure! Naturally children will of course, have their preferences, much like us adults but it’s finding a balance between giving into their dislikes, encouraging healthy choices and developing a sensible diet that should make both parents and children happy when it comes to meal times. The Cheapest Life Insurance looks at what things parents can do to encourage their children to become healthy eaters…
- Start your children early! Choose a wide variety of fruit and vegetables when you start to introduce solids into your baby’s diet. Get your baby to try different flavours and textures. Carry this into toddler and nursery ages. You don’t have to enjoy what your baby’s eating but it’s important to give them a wide range of foods and food groups.
- When introducing a new food remember that children often don’t enjoy the prospect of eating something that isn’t familiar to them. If you have a child that relishes the thought of anything new you’re lucky! Slowly introduce new foods, at first; perhaps put it with something familiar rather than serving up a ‘plate of the unknown’. If your children are at an age when they can have conversations about food then let them know about why the food is good for them, or relate it to a super hero or character.
- Get them involved! Encourage your children to help you prepare their food. You’ll be able to talk about it and it will avoid a ‘plate of unknown’ situation. Children will more likely to love a meal they have helped to create.
- Let your children experiment with their food by allowing them to dip or try with different combinations like hummus, yoghurt or ketchup. Let them try things raw and cooked!
- Cut back on junk food-shop and store healthy food in the house. Treats are important but they shouldn’t be the main foundation of a diet. Cut your fruit and vegetables into shapes, mix them together or put them with a sauce if they don’t seem instantly appealing. Allowing your children to have a treat means those foods feel less forbidden and work in harmony with making healthy foods more appealing.
- Be a role model to your children. Children look to the adults in their lives to copy. Be honest with your own eating habits and promote healthy eating to your children. Even if you are a fussy eater yourself your children don’t have to be.
- Planning your dinner should help you to keep a check on what your child is eating and help in creating a balanced diet for your children. It should also help for you to keep track of your finances and budget.
- Eat together! Eating together is a great way for your children to watch, learn and talk about what they are eating. It brings a level of enjoyment to food and eating and should produce a healthy relationship to food.
All children need a balanced diet so that they grow into healthy adults. If you’re experiencing a battle, it’s certainly one worth having. Providing your children with a good relationship with food is something they will hopefully carry into their own lives. Making food fun and exciting will capture the spirit of a child and how they work best. Remember that even if you are a fussy eater yourself or you didn’t have a balanced diet as a child, it’s not too late to make a change that’s worth it-for so many reasons.