When it comes to making the right choices in food, it is never too early to start. Childhood is a time of rapid growth and bodily changes, so it is crucial to get your kids to eat a balanced diet from a young age. Apart from introducing them to a variety of foods, this will ensure that they receive all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This will help in aiding their positive physical and cognitive development. Yet, every parent can vouch for how difficult it can be to sneak veggies onto their child’s plate – let alone make the child eat them. That is why we have put together a set of tips that you can adopt to help you make your child’s mealtime a healthy and happy one.
What Should Your Child Eat?
Brain foods: There are certain foods your child will require for healthy neural development, which include yogurt, eggs, and spinach. These foods will give them all the nutrients and antioxidants required to improve their focus and cognitive skills.
Fats and Proteins: Adding some scrambled eggs onto your kids’ plates can help them keep energized throughout the day. Eggs are a good source of carbohydrates and protein and a vital source of choline (a nutrient that assists healthy brain development). Peanut butter is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which is needed for overall development.
Vitamins: The key to building a strong and healthy internal system, vitamins are found in plenty of coloured vegetables like carrots, and fruits like oranges, apples, grapes, and bananas. Certain vitamins, such as A and C, which can be found in carrots, spinach, and citrus fruits can help build a good vision and strong immune system.
What are Some Important Food Habits Your Child Should Learn?
Set an example: It is extremely beneficial to have your child eat along with you and the rest of the family. That way, not only are they exposed to appropriate eating habits and social behavior, but they also feel more motivated to finish the food on their plates.
Seconds are welcome: It is important to only serve your children what they can eat at one go. This is to ensure that they finish their entire meal, and avoid wasting food. Second helpings, on the other hand, are to be encouraged.
First impressions: Apart from charging up your child’s diet with a variety of vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and fruits, an effective method of serving healthy foods (that are often disliked) is to present them creatively. Try making shapes and faces with foods, or mixing them up with foods they normally like (like carrot sticks along with fries), and sneak in the veggies and fruits that they need.
Keep a tab on the drinks: It is always good to go easy on the drinks (water, juice, or milk) while eating a meal. Drinking a lot of fluids during meals can often cause children to feel full and eat less of the necessary nutrient-rich foods. So keep an eye out on what – and how much – they are drinking during the meal.