Your child should have a diet high in fruit and veggies, complex carbohydrates and protein. They should also be thoroughly hydrated and happy to eat the balanced diet that you give them. The best way to do that? Introducing them to good food as early as allowed!
Children aren’t always the easiest to feed; they’ll turn their noses up at green foods and new foods, old foods and weird foods. It’s up to you as a parent to make sure that their introduction to food is as good as the time you go to bake these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for snacks. It should be gentle, easy and go down deliciously – much like the cookies! So, with this in mind, here are some handy tips to help you to get your kids eating better.
- Always keep fruit visible. A fruit bowl or two is going to help you to keep fruit visible to your kids through the day. Every morning, get the fruit from the refrigerator and arrange it in a way that looks appealing and eye-catching to children. Sure, crisps are a nice addition to their snack repertoire, but keeping fruit available is a great idea. Children love to graze and giving them the chance to grab food as they get hungry will help!
- Teach them to stop when they’re full. If you want to make sure that your children have a good relationship with food, you have to ensure that they understand when to start and stop the food they’re eating. Teaching them to ‘just eat up’ is going to teach them to go beyond their fullness levels and they will stop recognising when they are done. This can cause confusion and skew their relationship with food!
- Get them to cook with you! Children LOVE to get involved and as curious as they are, they’ll be excited to cook with you when they can. If you give your children some control over the menu, they’ll be excited to learn about how their veggies make them feel good on the inside, and they’ll be even more excited to help you to prepare and cook them. It’s a good idea if you want to show your children that while you are in charge of the shopping and cooking, they have a valid and appreciated opinion.
- Listen. One of the worst things that you can do is ignore taste or texture preferences. Food fear is very real and you don’t have to open that door with your children. If you ensure that you listen to them when they are telling you about their preferences they will always trust that you will do for them what they need.
- Keep persisting. It takes at least ten tries for children to fall in love with a new food and while they may not like the idea of trying something they don’t like, the key phrase is ‘try it if you like’ and leave that fearful food on their plate. If they try it, great, and if not, great.