Healthy foods are some of the worst enemies of many kids. They have always reasoned that fruits and vegetables do not taste good, so parents cave in and give them processed and junk foods that are not at all nutritious and can even lead to health problems. But as parents, you have to make sure that they get the proper nutrition from the food they eat. You are responsible for their health as you are the one who buys the food on the dining table.
As difficult as this task may be due to the persistence of children to get what they want, you have to push through using positive methods that won’t make them hate healthy foods more. To help you, here are some tips to slowly manage their diet while keeping track of their health in the process.
Get them medically checked up
When you want your kids to be healthy, you have to ensure that they are free from medical conditions that may keep them from having the food they need. One of the biggest problems that the country is facing is obesity. Child obesity is becoming more prominent as more parents fail to manage the food on their children’s plates.
A dietitian can help to strategically plan their meals with specific measurements and schedules. Allergies should also be managed to prevent negative and life-threatening reactions to their allergens. Even lactose intolerance, acid reflux, and other problems should be checked by a gastrointestinal specialist to see if there is a bigger condition causing these issues.
Condition them to like healthy food
Although it is easier said than done, you have to condition your children to like healthy foods. This should involve getting them to eat fruits and vegetables at an early age and continuing the habit while growing up. You also have to introduce them to the actual science of why healthy foods can keep them away from sicknesses in a way that they can understand with their young minds.
Be the authority on food
As the person putting the food on the table, you are responsible for almost everything that goes into the mouth of your kids. Whatever food you bring home is available for them to eat, so if you keep buying chips and candy from the store, they will insist on eating those whenever they see them. And no matter how much your kids beg to eat more of these junk foods, you have to be firm on your stand for their health. You are the authority in the household, so be a good role model and eat your greens as well. They are always watching you and will copy your habits bit by bit.
Schedule their meals and manage the mealtime
Apart from what they eat, you should also look into the time and schedule of when they eat. Their meals should be eaten at specific times during the day to condition their hunger away from snacking irregularly. Meals should also be used as a time for family so try to eat together and eat the same kinds of food to share the healthy benefits. Another thing to monitor is how fast your children eat. Some parents will force their kids to eat as fast as adults, but it is important to teach them to eat slowly so that their bodies can tell them when they are full.
Don’t remove “bad” foods altogether
Yes, your kids should eat healthy foods all the time to keep them healthy. But some junk food should be allowed from time to time. Sweets, chips, and juices can be used for desserts or snacks but in very limited amounts. This should give them a taste of what other kids have but still maintain a healthy dose to prevent overindulging. Generally, you don’t want to completely deprive your kids of the simple pleasures in life like these yummy treats.
These tips should be done gradually, especially if your children already have a taste for delicious but unhealthy foods. Forcing them to do what you want can only result in a worse problem that they can grow into.
As much as possible, make this change to a healthy diet a positive experience so that they understand how important it is to eat balanced meals. You have to imbibe in them that their food choices can keep them away from disease, giving them the ability to do whatever they want more easily. Remember that your impact on their health will go a long way into their lifestyle in the future, so make your efforts count as early as you can.