Eating habits and choices that we develop in our childhood can affect our health into adulthood and beyond. It therefore becomes extremely important for parents to inculcate the right eating behavior in children as this will define their health when they grow up. As stated by James Baldwin, children have never been very good at listening to elders but have never failed to imitate them. So, it is very essential for parents to take charge and create the right environment to choose to make the right choices about food.
Have A Family Dinner Time
Make mealtimes pleasant by involving the entire family. Encourage your child to eat slowly. It takes the brain at least 20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. Also, never eat in a rush in front of your kids. Sit down, set aside a few minutes to nourish yourself and your child will imitate you.
Encourage Frequent Mini-Meals
Give your child frequent mini-meals during the dau, such as a mid-morning snack or pre-dinner snack. Ensure you have healthy snacks at hand. Nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, whole wheat crackers, and veggies chips are great low-calories healthy snacks for your child, as well as you!
Take them grocery shopping
Involve your kids when you go out grocery shopping. Give them the liberty to choose foods that they want but also take this time to educate them about ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ foods, how to under the labels and read the ingredients, and decide which is the right snack to consume.
Never force them to eat!
Do not force your child to eat a lot if he decides to eat less once in a while. This habit of not overeating will go a long way into adulthood. Adults who sometimes don’t realize and eat even after having a full stomach are 90% of the times the ones who always used to overeat when they were kids.
Don’t Be A Couch Potato!
As adults, many of us offer complain about constant neck pains and backaches. Well this is the result of a wrong sitting and couching posture! Teach your children about the importance of posture and sitting upright. Also, try to not slouch or slump in front of you kids because this will only lead to them mimicking you and might even stick as a habit.
Variety Is the Spice Of Life!
Include a variety of all foods into their diet; ensure their diet includes fresh vegetables and fruits of all kinds, dairy products, cereals, pulses and an occasional treat of their favourite foods.