In my last blog we read about Nutrition For Kids. We understood what should child eat and not eat for its optimum development. As parents we have too many do’s and don’ts for kids. But let’s discuss the ones which are important for their well being. Healthy eating habits should be the lifestyle we should give to our kids.
1: Don’t allow easy access to junk food.
Junk food contains a lot of unhealthy ingredients like trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial sugar, and a whole lot of empty calories. Regular and long-term consumption of junk foods such as fries, burgers, and other unhealthy meals can contribute to various health problems, gut issues, Obesity and other eating disorders. So keep your child away from less nutritious yet delicious junk food. You can of course fix up a meal in a week where they are eligible to eat their favorite food.
Most of the times, parents want this easy access to food as they don’t have time to cook or they feel kids can enjoy these junk food at their age and trust me that is absolutely wrong. Keep them surrounded by healthy options of easy to eat food like makhana, nuts, seeds, fruits, non fried snacks etc.
2- Don’t force them to eat. Forcing kids to eat foods that they do not like is not only largely unnecessary but can also strain the parent-child relationship. Do focus on a variety of foods and take it slow. Serve them little portions of veggies in their plate without asking them to eat. After seeing it repeatedly they will try once at least. But you need to be patient, as it depends on your child how quick he is ready to try. My daughter has started eating foods which once she use to refrain, coz she wants to be part of our meal. So gradually choices will change, but you have to keep trying.
3- Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is something that they do regularly for one reason or another. The habit of skipping meals is most of the times because they want to play with friends, or spend time on screen or want to avoid food as it’s not their choice. So family meals offer a wonderful opportunity for bonding and catching up, boosting mental and emotional health. Eating together at a distraction-free table encourages mindful eating and helps prevent overeating. And Skipping meals your baby is missing on nutrition too. So at least 5 meals a day is important for a growing child.
4- Don’t eat while watching videos on your mobile or TV.
This is a very wrong practice which many house has is eating in front of television. This hinders the act of appreciation of what you’re eating as half of the time you are not aware of what you are eating and how much your are eating. Your habit of watching your favorite show at any meals could negatively impact your body and brain. So as parents we have to stop doing this so our babies also learn this from us. Family that eats together, stays together 🙂
5- Don’t limit your activities to indoor games:
It is very important for kids to be moving around, playing, jumping running for their development. Outdoor sports and physical activities will not only fight boredom but will also challenge their minds and muscles also strengthening their bones. Allow them to paly for at least 2-3 hrs a day.
While taking care of their nutritional needs it is equally important that our kids sleep well, rest well and they are de-stressing themselves by doing activities that they love the most. It can be listening to music, painting, singing, swimming or anything what makes them happy. Studies is a big concern for us, but not all kids are good at academics, parents have to accept the fact and likewise support their child.
RD Neha Kava
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