As a child growing up, I remember I was never served with options on my plate. I remember there were a few fragrances of cooked food that I did not like, but I was never offered another option. So, it was either eat what has been served or don’t eat.
I have no doubt that even I was picky at sometimes, but as far as I remember, I and my sister ate whatever my parents and cooked for us. While most of the times it was delicious, at times, it was like a big punishment, which I have to undergo anyway.
But now that I have grown up and a holistic nutritionist myself, I understand why mother makes me ate each and everything. Because every food on this earth has some of the vitamins and nutrients, and if you deprive of eating any one of those things then you may miss out on that nutrient.
If you are a working mother then it can be understood how tough it is to spend time in the kitchen, especially when you have innocent picky eaters at home. Might be you are 100% perfect in your eating, but probably your kids are not the same. They will never automatically love everything and understand the nutritional content of food being served to them. While some may be highly fond of pizzas and pasta, others may crave for pies, puddings, and ice-creams.
So, how can you manage them? How can you grow healthy eaters?
Whether you are a working mom or a mom at home the first important thing that you need to take care while raising healthy eaters is having enough patience. Secondly, be prepared to put in all the efforts to raise healthy eaters as the efforts are worth it.
Remember, raising healthy eaters can serve your children with numerous benefits such as:
- They will have a good memory and be more attentive at school.
- They will develop a strong immune system so that they fall sick less and when they fall sick the duration and severity of the sickness will be much less.
- Your kid will be able to get healthy sleep.
- He will be stable throughout the day.
- He will be more balanced and happy.
Sure, being a mom or a parent you would want your kids to get all these benefits. So, here explore some amazing and really helpful tips that will help you raise healthy eaters with ease.
Tips to Raise Healthy Eaters
1. Have Patience
When I was a slightly grown-up child, I used to believe that trying food three times is sufficient and if your child still says no, then let it go for a while. But over my course of studying holistic nutrition, I can confirm that actually have to try more times. Might be around 6-7 times, especially if it is the last bite of the food,
No matter how difficult it is, don’t be discouraged. Simply, there are some foods, which may adore your child, while there are others, which he simply is going to hate. Even, there might be foods that your child may eat before but is not willing to consume anymore.
Hence, you have to keep a close check.
2. Set a Positive Example
For growing kids, you are a role model. If you want your kids to eat healthy foods, then you’ve got to eat yourself.
You have to make additional efforts and ensure that your child has foods from all the five groups. Also, focus not only on giving a healthy breakfast, but even the lunch, dinner, and mid-snacks that your child consumes must be healthy.
One easy way to give healthy food to your child is to offer them fresh, home-cooked food.
3. Plan Shared Mealtimes
You can promote healthy eating habits as well as create a positive environment for your kids by connecting as a family over shared meals.
Make sure that the meal times are sacred. Turn off all mobile phones and screens off the dinner table. Trying to eat food together as a family with your child and if possible then make it a tradition.
No matter how young or old your kids are, reinforce this habit into them, and if you are not practicing it then start it right now. The feeling of togetherness and connection create healthy habits, which last a lifetime.
4. Make Your Child Understand what a Real ‘Treat’ Is
It is important that you start teaching your kids about the health benefits of food from the very beginning. Let them know which foods can make them grow strong and big and differentiate foods that are deemed as treats.
If your kid gets aware of a treat then he would definitely want it and you can ask them to eat healthy food throughout the weak to enjoy that treat.
Also, let your child learn about the significance of grocery shopping. Let them pick foods that are healthy, bringing them at home and eating it cooked or raw. You can discuss with your kids about foods that they like or don’t like.
Even though your child might be a little wild and pushy at the grocery store, still, let them go and make healthy choices.
5. Let Them Try New Flavors
You can never raise healthy eaters, till your child is aware of all rich flavors available to eat. Only then they can be super healthy and adventurous. Hence, don’t be afraid of introducing a new flavor.
Understanding your child’s taste buds will help you prepare food that is of interest to them and they love eating. Also, it will open up your child to new flavors.
Also, I will suggest that avoid bribing your child with dessert. Being parents, this can be an easy trap to fall into but if they develop such a habit then it would be difficult to break.
6. Always Serve Vegetables First
Serve veggies first to your child from the very small age. You can steam, roast and pep up veggies with a little salt and offer them to your kids when they are little. If they are hungry then they would gobble up all of it.
Next, serve them with protein and last with carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, and more. You see, your kids will never trouble you eating carbs it is because most of the kids love carbs. So, let it be the last option for them.
7. Involve Your Kid in Cooking
Even if you have a month old child, you can involve him in cooking by letting him rest in the cot while you cook food. This way, he will develop a sense of smell for the cooked food and will become familiar to it. If you don’t practice any such thing, don’t worry, it is never too late to begin!
Just make sure you keep him safe and away from fire and all such harmful elements. This way, your kids will also learn to experiment with new foods too. You can make such moments precious for both of you and at the same time establish healthy eating habits, which they can take into adulthood.
8. Limit Sugar Intake
Being parents, we love offering sugary treats to our children often. But let me warn you! They will drain them off positivity, flavors, and will make them more cranky and moody.
As your kids grow sugary foods may lead to acne, promote inflammation, intervene with their hormones, result in obesity, mess with their digestion, promote constipation, and might make them diabetic. If you want to offer them sugar, then categorize it under the ‘treat’ section.
Limit intake of refined sugar. Avoid adding sugar in milk, yogurt, or other foods they eat. Try balancing the blood sugar crash.
Here, you now have the greatest and super helpful tips!
I know that a lot of you have been asking me tips on this subject, so I hope that this post is helpful to you. My final thoughts! Just make cooking and eating fun for your child. Don’t feel stressed about it as if your stress will increase, then your child will sense the same.