Is your child a fussy eater? Try these simple practices to help them fall in love with food
Your child seems to refuse the apple and grapes, or prefers to eat banana all the time, or turns away from green veggies, each child has his/ her own preference. But here are a few tips to make sure your child’s diet is rich, varied and full of nutrients.
At InBloom, meal times are a celebration. Teachers honor the importance of mealtime every day not only for the sake of the children, but for their own. It is during this time that teachers are fully able to wrap their nurturing energy around every child at once. It is this essence that makes mealtime so very special and a true celebration of everything we are and everything we do, each and every day.
Some children may seem fussy or are poor eaters. Trust that children will eat as much as they can as long as they are provided with healthy options. Over time, preferences change, children become more willing to try new foods, and eventually learn to eat whatever food we provide them.
Here are some simple ways to get your child interested and excited about meal times
Don't force feed. Offer a wide variety of healthy foods and let the child decide.
Start with small portions. Let the child try different foods and they will ask for second portions of the food they like best.
Make sure little children get 10-12 hours of sleep as this helps set the mood for the day.
Get them moving. A child who comes home after a swim is more likely to have a larger meal after the physical exertion. Make sure that children get plenty of physical activity (between 3-5 kms in a full day) whether it is playing in the park, walking to the supermarket/ preschool/ around the block, cycling, climbing stairs, etc. Pushing a child on their cycles or on a swing does not count as physical activity for the child! And if your child leads a sedentary life, build this physical strength slowly over a period of time.
Get your child involved. From peeling, chopping, rolling chapatis, setting the table, etc. They can be your little helpers and sous chefs. This has multiple benefits and is the easiest way to bond with your child as well.
Be careful with snack times. Little tummies get full quickly. Frequent snacking especially at odd hours means children are not hungry enough for meal times. Try snacks that require a lot of chewing like veggie sticks.
Put the screens away when eating. No exceptions. Mindless eating leads to a host of problems including the loss of hunger cues, overeating and obesity.
Ask children to eat with their hands. Rooted in tradition, this practice improves their motor skills, digestion and helps children recognize their different textures and tastes of food.
Eat together. Young children learn by imitation. Watching your family enjoying a serene meal together will encourage them to sit down and eat with everyone.
Keep it simple. Offer simple foods that children understand and enjoy. Too many options confuses them.
Try these simple practices at home and let your children approach food with a whole new zest and curiosity.