Children are known for being hard to please when it comes to food. You may think that there will always be something your kids would rather eat than what you made. However, much of the control can be shifted back to you if you are willing to put in the effort and ensure your kids’ healthy diet.
Offer Them Options
The main issue that you may run into as a parent is that your kids do not want to eat what you have. The root cause of this situation is that kids want to feel in control. According to Teach Me I’m Yours, they want to be the ones who are making the decisions. To combat this, you should give your kids options of meals, main courses, or side dishes instead of force-feeding them. You can involve your kids in meal planning or offer them specific options during mealtimes. For example, you can offer broccoli or salad during dinner and let them choose what they want. This is also important during snack time when the kids might impulsively want a bag of chips, but you can offer some fruit instead.
Ensure a Balance
With whatever your kids decide to eat, your focus should be on their dietary needs, specifically that they are getting all the vital nutrients they need. If kids do not get all the nutrients they need when they are young, it could expose them to health problems later in life or even stunt their growth. For example, according to Stellar Kids, getting enough calcium protects against tooth decay by strengthening enamel. While daily vitamins are a great alternative to ensure adequate nutrients, the best sources are directly from foods themselves. A general rule of thumb for a balanced diet is trying to eat fruits and vegetables of different colors.
Lead by Example
According to Unlock Food, the majority of your children’s diet is actually determined by what you eat and what you choose to keep in the house. From a young age, your kids will look to you to know what they should eat and how much. If you are someone who buys processed food instead of foods with whole ingredients, your children will make the same choices when they leave the house. However, if they see you enjoying a balanced diet and having a healthy relationship with food, your kids will follow suit.
Healthy diets are linked to longevity, more energy, and happier lives. These are all goals you can help your children achieve if you teach them about healthy diets.
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