Ask anyone and they probably have memories of being a child and choking on some vegetable and being told to eat it. So, now as a mother with your kid gagging over the carrots, try to remember what that felt like, when you were the child and not the mother.
“I don’t like it.’ We’ve all been there. They mean it too. Their face is screwed up, and the little hand is holding their mouth, as if they are going to vomit. But you say the mommy words-“eat it, it’s good for you.” Trust me, those words don’t work. The cold carrots still are not going into that mouth.
So, what to do? The goal is to teach your child to be a healthy eater and to develop a lifelong love for eating food that’s good for them. Instead of learning the hard way and too late, we have consulted successful moms who have excellent tips to share with you.
Think of it as Teaching a Lesson
Raising a child is like being a full time teacher from day one right through to adulthood. You teach them everything., for example- language, how to walk, how to use the toilet, brush their teeth, be polite, ride their bike.
As the teacher, then, you are to help your child to build a lasting, healthy relationship with nutrition. This is important because they will thus have a healthy life.
Top Tips and Great Ideas and, Remember: BE Patient
Offer vegetables and fruit frequently and make no fuss at all over it. Do not say anything. If they don’t eat it, take the plate away and try again another night. Use a variety of food. Don’t serve the same food night after night. Raw finger size vegetables and fruit are an easy food for children to love.
Let them help with shopping and cooking. Try making fun food together.
Do NOT bribe. For example do not say: “eat these 3 (cold greasy) carrots and you can have dessert” (it does not work, believe me).
Don’t serve huge plates full of food. Two or three bites of each item so they get variety helps them learn a lot about all food groups. Use the one-one rule which is where they eat a bite of one food then a bite of the next food.
Look at the Example You are Setting
Check your own eating habits. Children will imitate the role you set. For example, drink lots of water, don’t skip meals or just drink coffee and eat a donut and expect them to eat a bowl of oatmeal.
Eat together. Family meals will be the most effective way to teach a love of eating healthy and being happy doing it.
Be consistent. Don’t rely on junk food or unhealthy food to become a part of your home environment. Think about what kind of food you want your grown up child to be eating.
Then, make it a goal to gently introduce the quality of healthy eating as a way of life into your family.
Teach them about food
Go to fresh food markets, smell and feel the excitement of the variety of foods available. Let them share the excitement and help them choose products.
Grow your own garden but have them involved. Give them their own patch to grow and enjoy. Let them cook and shop and plan the cooking.
The final bit of advice
- Limit sweet drinks, sugary snacks, Fast food, French fries.
- Schedule healthy snack and meal schedule.
- Eat a healthy breakfast.
- Teach modest eating habits so as not to eat too much.