Nourish Without Nagging: How To Get Your Toddler To Love Eating Healthily
If your child has a fancy for junk food and tends to skip meals, we have the right tips for you to help him choose healthy foods and to enjoy his meals.
By Dr Chaitali Laddad
As a parent, you may always think that giving your child healthy food is the end of nourishment. But little do you realise that, along with a healthy diet, you need to keep her active as well. It is important that she does not turn into a couch potato. A proper diet and adequate activity can make her truly healthy. Gone are the days when parents used to consider only milk and eggs as nourishing foods to enhance the nutritive value of food. Now, your child can choose from a variety of foods. Nourishing children does not always mean providing them with food to eat but it means feeding them right food at the right intervals, so that they can digest their meal in proper intervals which also leads to increased appetite.
A study conducted by The University of Eastern Finland on “Healthy Diet” proved that a healthy diet is the most important aspect in supporting learning and academic performance in children. As a parent, your major concern will always be your child’s diet and nutrition. But your child will always be carried away by junk food like chocolates, fried food, pasta, and so on, not because he loves the taste but because he loves the bright colours which are appealing to his eyes.
Do you think it is fanciful for your child to love healthy food and eat it without you nagging her? Believe it or not, this is possible through proper guidance. Following are the tips and tricks given below can help your child grow healthily:
- It may be difficult to make your child eat healthy always. Give her dairy products that will fill her tummy and keep her going.
- Many children dislike green leafy vegetables and never miss a chance to skip the meal when greens are served. All you can do is to cook their favourite pastas or noodles with the vegetables they try to avoid and you will get them to eat.
- Do not stuff your child with food all the time. Spend quality time with him to make him play games. Play is the best way for your child to learn and grow holistically.
- Teach her basic habits like washing hands before touching food and cleaning herself after returning from the playground to wash off germs that cause disease.
- Nourishing your child not only involves a healthy diet but also the daily routine. Never keep your child indoors when she needs to be active and playing outside.
Patience is the most essential trait that you must possess as a parent. Trying all these gimmicks might not work all the time but you will have to be patient enough to understand your child's taste. Focus on his health and not weight!
The author is Founder & Director at The Pediatric Network.
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