Healthy Food Habits For Kids: 6 Key Tips To Follow
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Children being impressionable young individuals, usually are taught and conditioned to follow a certain way of life, solely on the basis of what the adults around them tend to act out. Like behaviour patterns and social conduct, food habits that kids imbibe, also come from what is being eaten at home, the quality of their meals and how much it puts their health and nourishment first.

As parents whose primary responsibility becomes maintaining the overall health of their kids, children can be tough critics when it comes to food. Using a few key techniques and tricks, the journey of your kids’ health becomes easier to stay track on. While it is important to have awareness about what your child eats, it is equally necessary to follow the health philosophy for an overall healthy family. As children tend to engage in more physical activity on an average day than most adults, replenishing lost nutrients can be done by encouraging a few habits that become a part of their lifestyle even while growing up.

Balanced Meals

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Ensure that your child's meals include a balance of all major food groups – fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and dairy/dairy alternatives. Creating innovative recipes and dishes that allow them to find food appealing is a great way to get younger children to enjoy their meals. Making sure that their plate has the right amount of all components provides essential nutrients for their growth and development.

Portion Control

Teaching children early on about appropriate portion sizes prevents them from overeating. Use visual cues like comparing a serving of meat to the size of their palm or a fist-sized portion of grains, to show them how to measure a portion of food according to their appetite on any given day. Balance the healthy, home-cooked meals with their favourite snacks from time to time to encourage eating in moderation and having a sustainable diet.

Limit Sugary Drinks

Avoid giving your children sugary beverages like soda, pre-packaged fruit juices and excessive amounts of sports drinks. Encourage them to hydrate by drinking water, milk or coconut water as a healthier alternative. Having honest and open conversations about why aerated drinks or refined sugar is not good for them also helps them to create an understanding and association around why they must make the right choices for themselves.

Also Read:

5 Tips To Feed Nutritious Food To Your Children

Meal Prep With Children

Engage children in preparing meals or snacks since activities like this can make them more interested in eating healthier foods and teach them valuable cooking skills. When children develop an understanding of the effort it takes for a meal to get to their plates, they learn to be appreciative of the process and time, developing a respect for what they eat, as a result.

Model Healthy Eating

Many times, children often mimic their parents' eating habits and hence, being a positive role model by eating a variety of nutritious foods and showing enthusiasm for healthy options, allows them to have a reference point on how to maintain a healthy diet even after they grow up. Studies have also shown that children also copy eating patterns of their parents early on and cultivate a curiosity for new foods if the adults have a wide palette.

Encourage Family-Style Meals

Making time to have at least one regular family meal together provides an opportunity to model good eating habits, have meaningful conversations and create a positive food environment. Eating together also allows children to develop a healthy relationship with food instead of creating an emotional dependency that might cause them to overeat or under-nourish themselves.