Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Healthy Eating Habits for children

Intelligent parents need to be innovative so that kids eat healthy. Healthy eating habits for children can be cultivated with the awareness of the right choice of food and a bit of creativity during the meal times.

The world is worried about obesity in children and life-threatening disease, yet we vigorously promote fast foods—burgers, pizzas, chips are the popular foods. When we were young eating out was a “once a year” occasion. Even party foods were made at home.

The other day my son-in-law’s college-mate was telling me how his one-year old daughter tested positive for diabetes and so now he has completely stopped her from eating sugar—sweets, chocolates and more. It’s scary the number of children developing diabetes and more.

Here are some tips to promote healthy eating habits for children.

No diets, just balanced meals

Even if a child is overweight one should not place the child on a diet. During the developmental years all children need balanced nutrition. Read up on nutrition and consult your pediatrician on what is the best schedule.

Also try to create meals that your children would love, vary the tastes and see how the food is gobbled up.

A cousin of mine has twins who are really “double trouble.” She used to make small pancakes in animal shapes with carrot eyes and peas for a nose, in order to tempt the two four-year-olds to eat—the animals would have a red smile made with sauce and beets.

So yes, it is possible for boring home food to become interesting for kids.

Have you tried freezing pieces of watermelon sprinkled with salt and a dash of pepper—it is extremely popular on a hot summer day. People in ancient times used to have seasonal meals, and this helped with digestion—try it and see how it works.

Explore healthy snacks

These days mothers have so many choices. Did you know snacks can be healthy too? Kids love snacks that can be eaten on the go—so make sandwiches with whole wheat bread, offer cheese / vegetable sandwiches, create pizza mocks with whole wheat bread.

Innovate! Make small cutlets and offer them to kids on sticks with a dip. Use plenty of fruits, nuts, yogurt and cereals to make other snacks.

The other day my daughter’s friend served hung curd sandwiches to the kids summer group—it was an easy yet delicious snack—whole wheat, hung curd garnished with coriander leaves, salt and pepper and a dash of green chilies that lent a tang.

Most veggies can be made into chips—raw banana, corn, taro, cluster beans and more. Introduce different tastes to children. If children don’t like milk, offer the milk as custard, or ice cream (beat milk up with a fruit like strawberries, or apricots and freeze).

Make meal times fun

Just as a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down, a story at the table could get a toddler to eat his/her meal.

My grandmother used to make small mountains of the rice and veggies and spoon each mountain into our mouths while relating wonderful stories of animals, birds, fairies, and demons.

Try conversing with the child while he eats, discuss the day, seasons, siblings, festivals.

Conclusion – Healthy Eating Habits for children

Let the child decide on the menu sometimes and see the delight on his/her face when the family eats. Another wonderful activity is to take the child to buy groceries, veggies, and fruits. This will get them interested in foods and help them learn about benefits and disadvantages.

Though healthy eating habits for children is of utmost importance, treat the kids to junk food once in a while but do not make it a habit to “order out” on a regular basis. If you are busy parents there are ways you can make cooking easy by undertaking preparations during weekends, package it yourself in the refrigerator and then use it to cook with during the week.

About the Author

Ahendita is an experienced writer and editor with over 30 years work experience. She has authored books, magazine articles, web content, e-books, and promotional materials.

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