Share the responsibility with your kid. You decide when, where, and what the family eats. Your child chooses whether and how much to eat from the options you will provide.
Children eat when they’re hungry and they stop when they’re full. When we try to be in command of how much our kid eat, we get in the way with this natural ability. We should stop doing it.
Instead, we must help our children learn to eat slowly and recognize when they are full. Don’t let rules or bargaining dictates your child’s eating habits.
Here are some ideas that you can use to get started. You can always add more to this, having in mind the functioning of your family.
Some helpful tips to start
1. Organize a regular snack and a meal schedule. The natural way is that children should have three meals and two snacks a day. When your child’s body will have a schedule, hunger and appetite will be more regular.
2. You should find at least one food from each food group on the menu that your child likes, and make sure it is available most of the time. Don’t worry if your child likes only one vegetable or one or two kinds of meats or fruits. Kids tend to accept new foods step by step, and their preferences expand over time.
3. Prepare a healthy breakfast for your child. This will help to have a healthy weight. Eating breakfast starts the process for using calories throughout the day. It also gives your child energy. Try cereal with milk and fruit, nonfat or low-fat yogurt, or whole-grain toast.
4. Eating as a family as often as possible is also very important. Keep family meals pleasant and positive. Talk and exchange information about simple things.
5. Buy healthy snacks. Offer healthy snacks that your child likes, and keep them within easy reach. But be careful not to overuse them.
6. Be a good role model. Your own eating and lifestyle choices are a powerful teaching tool. Your child sees the choices you make and follows your example.
Use your knowledge to underpin healthy eating habits of your kid. Teach your kid about the food – where it comes from, how and where it grows and what nutrients it contains.
Show them why is so important to eat healthily. Show them some pictures, surf the net, play games with food.
But also for you, as a parent is very important to know the size of the portions that you offer your kid:
1. Serve modest portions. Do not overload the dishes. Make color balance of the food. Make it colorful, it will raise your kid attention.
2. Limit sweet drinks on the beginning. Encourage your child to drink water as much as it can when is thirsty. With time stop giving sweet drinks. Tell your kid about all the negative influence that sweet drinks can have, ex: diabetes.
3. Offer lots of vegetables and fruit every day. Even as snacks instead of chocolate. Start with adding some fruit to your child’s breakfast, and include carrot sticks in your child’s lunch.
4. After a few days or weeks, you should offer new food. It should be combined with a food that your kid already likes. Don’t give up if you fail. It takes time and may need many tries before they accept a new food.
5. Avoid using phrases like “Clean your plate or “One more bite.” Do not push him. Leave him to finish when his belly is full, otherwise, it will not be able to know when to stop eating.
6. Avoid using food as a reward! For example, don’t use favorite foods as ice cream or cake as rewards for behaving well. If you serve dessert, consider it part of the meal, not a treat to follow the main course.
7. Try to grow some of your own food in your backyard or in a pot on the kitchen stand. Let your children plant a herb on his own and show him how to take care of. Start helping him with cooking and shopping as well. Let to choose some food at the grocery and to cook with you a healthy meal.