How to Help Your Child Develop a Good Attitude Toward Eating
The way you eat affects the way your child will eat. So it's important to become a role model for your child in developing healthy eating habits and a positive attitude toward food. Provide your child healthy meals and encourage them to eat nutritious food. This will help them in promoting good health and avoiding obesity among preschoolers.
Here are some ways to help your child promote a healthy and positive relationship with food:
Don't Follow a Restrictive Diet Plan for Your Child
It's not advisable to place your child on a restrictive diet unless supervised by a doctor for medical reasons. Limiting what they are eating might be harmful for their health and interfere in their growth and development.
Reduce the Amount of Fat in the Diet
Cutting down the amount of fat is a great way to reduce calories without affecting the nutritional requirements of your child. This also helps in avoiding obesity. Include low-fat or fat-free daily products, breads, cereals, and poultry without skin.
Don't Excessively Restrict Treats or Sweets
You should be aware of the sugar content of the foods you are serving to your family. Include foods that are high in sugar content in moderation in your family's diet. Instead of dictating, give them a variety of healthy foods and help them make healthy choices.
Eat Together as a Family
Try to eat together with your family during mealtimes and make it pleasant with sharing and conversation. Don't scold or force your child to eat. Show them that mealtime is about sharing and creating a comfortable environment during mealtimes.
Turn off TV While Eating Meals
Turn off the TV or other devices while you are having a meal with your family. It would be very helpful as instead of paying attention to the TV, your child will try to notice how they feel when they are hungry and when they are satisfied.
Don't Use Food to Reward or Punish Your Child
Not giving food to your child as a punishment may cause them to worry that they will not get food and go hungry, so they will try to eat whenever they get any opportunity. Avoid giving sweets as a reward as children will think that these kinds of foods are better than other foods.
Prepare the Same Meal for Everyone
Children love to copy what their parents do. If you enjoy the same meals your kids eat, they will be more inclined to like the same food. Combine this with a menu of a variety of foods, and your children will become more interested in what they eat.
Don’t Force Feed
Avoid forcing your children to eat specific foods or finishing their plates as it will increase their resistance to eating. Instead, try recipes that combine their favorites along with what they should be eating so that your kids will be more willing to eat.
Include Children in Shopping and Preparation of Food
Including your children in meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing food will increase their likeliness to eat the fruits and vegetables they pick from the store and meals they help prepare.
Give Your Children Healthy Snacks
Make sure you have a stock of healthy snacks for your children to eat in between meals. This will help your children avoid overeating unhealthy snacks that could lead to health issues. Instead, healthy snacks will keep your kids in good physical condition.
Set a good example for your child by following a balanced diet and remaining physically active. This will teach them healthy eating habits and develop a good attitude toward food.