"My child never eats healthy food, he only likes junk food" - A complaint most of the parents have. Unhealthy eating habits of the children is one issue that has been bothering parents everywhere. But have you ever considered the fact that the child's eating habits are developed by looking at what their parents prefer to eat?
Several authors revealed that children consider their parents as role models when it comes to eating habits. When parents eat healthy, children are more likely to eat healthy food and when parents prefer junk, even children are more inclined towards eating junk food.
In a new study conducted, the eating habits of toddlers aged 2-3 was compared to the eating habits of their mothers. What mothers were eating during their pregnancy was also considered. While it was found that eating habits of mothers during pregnancy did affect the child, what mothers ate when their children were toddlers had a greater impact on the eating habits of the child.
It was also found out that what a father eats largely affects the eating habits of school going children. Hence, it's important to eat healthy yourself as parents if you wish for your child to eat healthy. The best way to get your child to eat healthy food is to set up a good example and be a good role model in terms of the food that you eat.
The foods and drinks children consume are the source of nutrients for them which are needed for growth and brain development. A better and healthier diet is associated with better school performance, especially among children who regularly eat breakfast, have lower intakes of junk foods and whose diet includes higher nutritional quality.
It is found that more frequent consumption of vegetables with the evening meal was associated with higher scores in tests for spelling and writing. It was also found that more frequent consumption of beverages high in sugar was associated with lower scores in tests in reading, writing, grammar, punctuation, and numeracy.
As a parent, it is important for you to take care of your child's eating patterns and make sure they incorporate a healthy dietary plan. Here are some of the things that you as a parent can do to make sure that your child eats healthy food:
1. Make Them Try New Fruits And Vegetables
2. Eat Together As A Family
3. Ask Experts For Help When Required
4. Increase Variety
5. Be A Good Role Model
1. Make Them Try New Fruits And Vegetables -
It is often seen that when you offer your child something new, he will at first not try it or not like it. What you can do is, pair an unfamiliar food with a familiar one that they already like. Offer some kind of dip or sauce that they like with it and your child will be more likely to try out new foods that you offer.
2. Eat Together As A Family -
It is crucial that you set a particular time for your child's meals. Also, at least thrice a week, try to eat together as a family. This will give you an opportunity to share your meals with your children and give you a chance to interact with your children about a variety of topics, including nutrition.
3. Ask Experts For Help When Required -
As difficult as it might be for you as a parent, ask someone for help. If you are stuck somewhere, it's important that you take help from experts for the betterment of your child's eating habits.
4. Increase Variety -
Increasing the variety of healthy foods will help you in boosting your child's health. Take a few healthy eating quiz and make it interesting for your child as well as make them understand the importance and benefits of eating healthy food.
5. Be A Good Role Model-
Last, but the most important is to set a good example for your child and eat good and healthy food so as to influence your child's eating habits as you are the role model they learn from. If you eat healthy, your child will automatically be more inclined towards eating healthy food as your child learns from you only. This is a win-win situation.
These are some of the things and habits that you as a parent should start adopting and implementing as soon as possible for the better and healthy future of your child.