Trying to manage your own diet is difficult, but keeping on top of your child’s eating habits as well is even harder. Here are three ways you can help your child develop a healthy diet.
Make an effort
What your child eats is ultimately up to you – you’re the one that does the weekly the shop and prepares the meals. However, the busy and stressful lifestyle of being a parent can kill your enthusiasm for cooking. While frozen food is okay every now and then, you should try and go that extra mile and prepare something healthy for you children as often as you can. Instead of having chicken nuggets and chips, why not make a healthy omelette with salad on the side? And encourage them to eat fruit instead of sweets. The best way is to treat fruit like it’s a treat as opposed to a forced alternative to sweets.
When you’re breaking out of a routine of ready meals and frozen food, it can be difficult to prepare a nutritious meal every single night. If you’re not the greatest chef, daily vitamins and omega 3 fish oil supplements, available from Multivits, are a great way to complement your new diet as you strive for a healthier lifestyle. To read more about the benefits of daily supplements, read Web MD’s informative article.
Once you’ve started making more of an effort with your meals, the next hurdle you’re going to encounter is resistance. Your child may resent their new diet and pester you for junk food until you eventually cave in. Temper tantrums are no fun, but giving in to demands for a drive-thru McDonalds are even worse. All you’ll be doing is hitting the reset button on the time and effort you put into those healthy meals. Stay strong and have a healthier alternative ready for when those junk food demands are made.
When your children do start to eat more healthily, it’s vital that you shower them with praise and encouragement. Complimenting them for their new eating habits is the best way to reinforce and continue the behaviour in the future.
If your children are still dragging their heels when it comes to eating vegetables, try experimenting with some dips. Allow them to dip their carrot sticks into yogurt or ketchup if they choose to. Once they’ve become accustomed to the taste, they can be eased off the dips. The BBC has a fantastic collection of healthy kids recipes to give you some inspiration.
An ‘all or nothing’ approach isn’t going to work when you’re trying to encourage good eating habits. Banning all treats from your house will only cause more problems. Allow occasional treats for good behaviour and allow an occasional takeaway every now and again. They’ll come to distinguish the difference between the two food categories, and become more adjusted to their healthy eating lifestyle.