Healthy Eating Series: How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
Your kid will follow in your footsteps. Therefore, for your child to follow healthy eating habits, you will need to lead by example. For example, if you survive on packaged junk food, you cannot restrict your child from doing the same. Here are a couple of things you can try to make your child develop a taste for healthy foods.
Healthy Eating Tips
- Make mealtimes interesting and pleasant by introducing colourful plates, cutlery, music, etc. You can occasionally take your child outdoors to the park for a picnic meal.
- Do not rush feeding time. Have patience, and, if required, have other family members take out the time to feed your child. Not only will this help foster healthy relations between them and the child, but it will also take some of the stress off of you, so that you can do other things as well.
- Sometimes, kids refuse to eat. Don’t force-feed your child or get angry. Patience is key; you will have to try introducing the food on some other day or in some other way.
- Keep track of allergies the kid might develop. It could be to nuts, gluten, fish, or she could develop lactose intolerance. Seek immediate medical assistance and do not try to resolve it through self-medication.
- Have set mealtimes so that the child’s body cycle is set accordingly. Do not feed her in between mealtimes.
- If at all your little one is really hungry but it isn’t time for a meal yet, tide her over with healthy snacks, like raisins or fruits.
- Overeating as well as eating too less should be discouraged.
- Keep your child well-hydrated. A lot of times, it could be thirst that makes your child think that she’s hungry. Provide her with a glass of water if she complains of hunger at odd times or in between meals.
- Provide your baby with homemade meals. While travelling, stick to healthy options like fruits rather than junk or unhygienic food.
- As your child grows, include her in decisions to choose meal options and let her help you with cooking. She will be more accepting of the food served to her if she had a hand in choosing or preparing it.
- Junk food gets a lot of positive marketing, making it quite appealing for kids despite all its negative effects. Healthy food, on the other hand, doesn’t get enough praise! Well, that’s up to you to change. When you take your child shopping for foods and produce (which you should do regularly), tell her of all the advantages she stands to gain by choosing an apple over a chocolate bar. Make it fun and entertaining, just the way kids like it, so that the next time you go shopping, your child runs to the healthy foods section, because she wants to!
- Introduce new foods at weekly intervals along with her favourite foods. Appreciate her when she tries out something new.
Do remember that maintaining healthy eating habits in children is more important than having them reaching a target weight. Let your child consume a healthy and wholesome diet, and she will eventually reach a healthy weight. If you are concerned about your child not putting on weight despite trying the above tips and foods, consult the doctor. He will be able to evaluate the situation and prescribe weight gain supplements for children if required.
Diet Chart for Children to Gain Weight
Diet charts can be in the form of weekly menus or meal plans that cover all the required nutrients to be included in a kid’s diet. They can be put up with interesting pictures of food on your refrigerator. You can ensure that both you and your child (if she’s old enough) participate in making the menu exciting and mealtime fun. Every week, you can introduce a new food and expand the food options available to your child.
The diet chart changes with every age group. Ensure that you include portions of fruits, vegetables, dairy, starch, and proteins to make it a well-balanced meal.