Developing healthy eating habits for your children begins early in life.
You do this by having the whole family eating well and not being picky about nutritious food. Of course, there are some circumstances where things are a bit different, but on the whole, this is recommended.
Vegetables should be on every child’s plate, and a big issue about eating them should not be made. Most hungry children will eat what is on their plate, especially if there are no sweet treats before mealtime to curb their appetite.
Usually, healthy children will eat when they get hungry, and if they get the message that eating is something that everyone does. They quickly learn that if they skip a meal, Mum is going to get upset over it, they will use it to their advantage. In other words, don’t let a two or three-year-old use their refusal to eat as a power play with their parents.
At an early age, children learn the power and magic of no, and it can feel like a non-stop game. It seems they are out to prove that whatever is expected of them is exactly what they are not going to do. And the food is such an essential part of life that they seem to do it all the more at mealtimes.
Going without one meal is not going to do damage to a child. Present the food to him at mealtime and if he insists on eating only dessert or some other fries or something else to his liking, let him. Don’t mention it, but the next meal, omit the dessert and have on the table only the food he is to eat. After several tries of this, he will eat what is put in front of him and be glad to get it. He will not go hungry; you can count on that.
Of course, you are concerned, but don’t let them know it. It could be that this toddler is not personally trying to start a war with his parents; he is simply not hungry. Just leave his food and let him eat it later when he is hungry. All stomachs are not alike, and who says a child must eat when it is dinner time? His stomach runs on its own time, and it will let him know when he must eat.
This may sound disruptive, but after a few months, or maybe sooner, he will adjust, and his stomach will adapt to these regular mealtimes, and the problem will be solved. It will be solved that is if a strict regime of wholesome food is offered and the child is not loaded up with junk food. I do not say this is easy to do, but it is possible to do.
Additionally, it is inadvisable to have any form of technological devices around when you are trying to encourage your kids to eat healthily. Scoffing food whilst staring at a screen does absolutely nothing to promote positive habits. In fact, this could lead to overeating as they are not focused on how much food is going into their tummies.
Any of us at any age have food preferences, and were we not to know better, we would much rather eat some than others. But as adults, we eat what we think we need, not what we want. Children have yet to learn this.
This is a guest post. How do you feel about this method of developing healthy eating habits? Would this work with your children? We’d love to hear how you cope. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org