Bad eating habits can be difficult to break, especially if they have become a routine. It’s possible to encourage healthier eating habits even in the pickiest children by keeping unhealthy foods out and bringing in healthy foods.
These healthy eating tips may be worth a shot, whether you are trying to convince your toddler to try peas or convincing him to drink soda.
Don’t Ban Junk Food Outright
Eileen Kennedy, a pediatric psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says that once kids have had their first taste of sweet, salty, or crunchy foods, it is hard to get them hooked again.
She recommended that parents limit how many treats their children can eat per day and not ban them completely. This will ensure that kids are less likely to be tempted by foods they don’t want.
Kennedy stated that banning a particular food is also bad because your child might eat it even though they feel full. This could lead to an unhealthy eating pattern.
She also suggested that parents should not restrict desserts or other treats to punish bad behaviour. This can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.
Encourage them to eat smart at school
Kennedy suggested that you look at your child’s school lunch options. Many schools offer a printed copy of every month’s menu. Discuss each day’s menu options with your child and challenge them to choose the most healthy.
This will help your child be more aware of and make informed food choices.
Instead of giving your children money to buy snacks at the vending machine at school, tell them they can save their soda and candy money for other non-food items. Kennedy suggested that they bring plenty of healthy snacks to school to encourage them not to spend their money on sweets or salty treats.
Avoid Bulk Purchases of Unhealthy Foods
Kennedy advised that if you are looking to purchase a special treat, it is better to get the smallest package possible of the food than the bulk-sized, economical packages.
A bulk pack of single-serving, small bags of cheesy popcorn can be better than one large, bulky bag.
Kennedy advised that children should keep any large-sized snack foods away from their eyes and reach, making them less likely to eat them all day.
Be aware of the dangers of drinking calories
Kennedy stated that teens and tweens might be aware of unhealthy foods but may not know how many empty calories they are consuming daily from sugary drinks.
A 22-ounce McDonald’s Chocolate McCafe Shake contains 880 calories, nearly half of the recommended daily calorie intake for most 9-to-13-year-olds. She advised teens and tweens to be aware of the empty calories in unhealthy drinks and encouraged them to opt for a low-calorie or diet version.
Drink plenty of plain milk and water to help your child develop a healthy habit of drinking liquid calories early. This will keep them away from sugary or chocolate milk. You can give your toddler juice but only 100 per cent. Then, you should give it water and mix equal amounts of water and juice.
Encourage Fruits and Vegetables at Dinner
Kennedy says that when cooking dinner, make sure you have at least one healthy option that your child will enjoy.
Cook a small amount of the meal’s starch, such as potatoes, to encourage more. But extras of the fruits or vegetables.