How Do We Encourage Children to Eat Healthy?

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We’re pretty sure most parents can relate when we say that every family’s dining experience are oftentimes plagued with children’s eating habits. But really now, how does one encourage a child to eat? Bribing them a reward might work for sometime but it is not recommended by child specialists to do so.

How does one encourage their child to eat? Be creative! Use creative cooking techniques to introduce new food. Try to incorporate little games during mealtimes such as dipping carrot sticks in mayonnaise. Having a theme for every meal (by shape or color, breakfast in bed, barbeque lunch, Hawaiian fruit feast, etc.) can also entice kids to eat. Better yet, encourage your child to participate in healthy meal planning and preparation, kids are more likely to sow the fruit of their hard work. Take him grocery shopping, let him mix ingredients, or “design” his food in a smiling face on his plate.

Is it true that introducing a child to bottled foods at an early age will make him a picky eater? There are a lot of parents who stand by this theory. However, there is no scientific study to support it. To be safe, avoid giving your child bottled baby food. Go natural; it’s the best way.

How can one get him to try new food? Expose your chid to new healthy food by choosing one every month and offering it to him. One bite might seem like a small step but it’s a big one for a child who isn’t used to new tastes. Taste the new food together. If he sees you eating and enjoying it, he might take interest and eat it with you, too. If he does, be sure to praise his efforts. It’s okay if he spits the new food the first time. It’s your job to tweak the recipe or presentation to his liking.

How do one get a child to eat faster? It takes hours and hours for him to finish one meal. Eat together as a family so that your child can grasp the idea of mealtimes. Though you may incorporate little games to make him finish his meals, he should understand that eating is the primary task at hand. Don’t allow your children to eat while watching TV. Limit the number of toys he can bring to the table – one is enough. It takes a while for kids to just eat during mealtimes, so avoid any distractions.

What foods should be avoided until he turns one? Why? When a child starts solid food at 6 months, pediatricians usually advise parents to try one kind of food at a time to determine what food he may be allergic to. Sugar rich foods are also no-nos for babies. Added sugar in sugared drinks, sweets, and chocolates can cause mood swings, hyperactivity, and reduced concentration. Avoid chemical additives and stimulants as they can cause sleeplessness, hyperactivity, and fatigue. Examples of these are carbonated drinks, tea, or coffee. Cakes, pastries, popcorn, and French Fries are examples of foods that are still difficult for a baby’s digestive system to absorb.

How early can one put a kid on a diet? Kids don’t usually need to diet. They need a variety of healthy foods to help them grow. Overweight kids can improve their health simply by eating nutritious foods and being more active. Their health may suffer more by doing some drastic dieting like skipping meals. Although trying to help overweight children loss weight is important, even more important is trying to prevent them from becoming overweight in the first place.

No matter how finicky an eater he is, you still make the rules when it comes to what he eats.

Vance Madrid

Freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, social media manager, events coordinator, scriptwriter, film buff, wanderlust and certified foodie. Zealous for a keyboard and new experiences, I wish to live and learn through my writing.