Children of today want their TV, computer, and handheld devices as they eat from a bag of chips or munch on chocolate chip cookies. It feels as if the concept of going out to play has almost disappeared. Most children would rather stay indoors than play outdoors. What makes this worse is that their comfort food is unhealthy snacks.
This has to stop and only parents can help introduce the change. They can encourage their children to go play outside and cook them delicious meals full of nutrition. If both parents work, they can take turns cooking food and cook meals a day before so they don’t have to order out. Remember, you want your child to grow up healthy and not overweight. You can do that by doing the following things:
1. Have Meals at Home
You need to serve meals to your child at the same time each day. In doing so, it provides stability into your child’s routine and improves their appetite. In addition, it is a good way to spend time with your child and tells you that your child is getting all the nutritious benefits from veggies and fruits. This becomes more important when children age, as they might tend to skip meals, which is unhealthy. By eating meals with them, you will have the satisfaction of knowing your children are eating well.
2. Provide them Options
Most children will make a face when you tell them to eat their vegetables and fruits. In order to look at their most despised food in a new light, serve your children steamed veggies with salt and pepper or make them delicious smoothies using fruits. Try to provide them with different fruits and vegetables, as eating one type of snack everyday will bore them. Don’t take away their candy bars though, but give them sweets in moderation.
3. Be Their Example
When you eat healthy, they will eat healthy. When children are young, they are very impressionable, which gives you a good chance to introduce them to a healthy lifestyle. Since children look up to their parents and try to copy them, you can encourage that behavior by setting an example for them.
4. Provide Sensible Portions
Feeding your child more than they should eat will make them become obese, and that is unhealthy. The more you feed them, the larger their stomach will expand. You want to serve smaller portions, increasing them as they age. Most importantly, you should never force your child to finish everything off their plate. If they are full, take their word for it. Only feed your children when they tell you that they are hungry. Give them snacks only two times each day and not more than that.
You can check back on our site for tips. If you want to consult with a doctor about your child’s diet, please feel free to contact a pediatrician at Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest.