As a parent, encouraging your child to eat healthily as they grow can be difficult, especially if they are fussy eaters. Not only that, but you also need to take the right steps to understand best the sorts of meals and nutrients your growing child needs when they pass their baby years.
Here are seven different ways you can ensure that your growing child is eating healthily.
Plan Family Mealtimes
Having a set mealtime for the family to sit and eat together not only means a more stable eating routine for your child, but also helps them to develop a more positive experience with eating, and with sharing the experience with the family.
Family mealtimes will also help you to better structure your menu planning and make it a whole lot easier for you.
Be a Good Role Model
Your child is going to be influenced by everything you do, so make sure you’re eating the same healthy recipes and ingredients as your child to encourage them and support them. If they see you eating healthy meals, they’re more likely to copy and feel more positive about it.
Limit Meals Out
While family meals out can be a great treat, they can also make it difficult for you to plan healthy meals. Homemade, healthy meals are much more preferable for your growing child, so limit dining out if you can.
Pay Attention to Any Problems
Eating problems and disorders can occur at any time, at any age, even in young children. It’s important to pay attention to any signs that your child may be having an unhealthy relationship with food that could be impacted by their mental health. Residential treatment centers like edentreatment.com exist to help anyone — at any age — struggling with mental health conditions that are affecting their diet and health.
Plan a Few Disguises
If you’re finding it difficult to get your child to eat healthy options, you can always be more creative in disguising certain foods. Try to include healthy ingredients in meals where they cannot easily be noticed and disguise specific flavors with other ingredients.
Trying to change your child’s entire diet as they get older to introduce healthier habits is going to be difficult. The earlier you start and plan out healthier eating for your child, the easier it will be for them to adapt to it and consider it the norm. Therefore, do your research and plan ahead of time for your child’s key years.
Have Your Child Help with the Cooking
Have your child spend a lot of time in the kitchen with you to develop a healthier relationship with it. Make cooking fun, and let them help with food preparation so that they can feel more involved and have a more positive relationship with food. If they can better understand the process behind their meals, they may be more inclined to eat whatever is put in front of them openly.