Investing in early childhood nutriton is incredibly in mportant for the growth and development of the child. A healthy mind and body are essential to living a healthy life.
If you’re just walking up, you probably haven’t eaten in at least 10 hours. Don’t head out before fueling up! Breakfast literally means “Breaking the Fast”. A healthy breakfast can give you and your kids a sharper mind, more energy, and better total nutrition for the day. A balanced breakfast includes protein, carbs and fiber.
Does your child wake up early enough to have a healthy breakfast before heading to school? Setting a routine for young kids is a difficult yet important task to be done by parents. A good routine sets good habits from an early age. An ideal routine for a child includes waking up at least an hour before school, having milk and a little breakfast before leaving for school. Of course, remember biscuits is not breakfast!
Kids can be fussy when it comes to food.
Children need love. Children need boundaries. Children also need someone to look up to and learn from. Your job as a parent is to lead by example, modeling the kind of behaviour that you want your kids to adopt. One of the easiest ways to get your child interested in eating vegetables and fruits is to eat yours.
Be a good role model for your child. Toddlers love to do what parents do. The key is to keep trying and not get frustrated. Try new and interesting recipes for your child and sometimes even provide a combination of their favorite dish with something new. This is a learning process for both the child and the parent and it takes time for the child to acquire a taste for new food.
Tips to make healthy eating habits
- Do not fixate on the amount of food. Sometimes, it’s all right if the child does not finish his meal.
- Do not make mealtimes a battle.
- Do pay attention to adopting healthy eating habits – including sitting as a family at mealtime.
- Do make healthy food choices as a family. Be a good role model for your child.
- Let your child eat food independently. It’s all right if he does not finish his food on somedays.
- Make greens fun and get innovative with your recipes. Mix vegetables into delicious soups, prepare vegetables pure for plates of pasta or even shred beetroot or carrots and mix them into burger patties.
- If your child does not drink milk then custard, fruit smoothies, buttermilk and good options.
- Introduce one new food at a time.
- Avoid sugary drinks and sugar-rich food from an early age. Offering sweets, ice creams, cold drinks as rewards lead to unhealthy eating in the future.
- Try and concentrate on multi-nutrient rich food, instead of calorie-dense foods.
- Identify the time when the child is hungry and plan meals accordingly.
- Make children eat small and frequent meals at least once in 2 hours.
- Restrict fluid intake before meals to ensure the child is not full before the meal.
- Promote healthy snacking habits from the very start.
- Say no to ‘Screen time’ while eating food. So not television, mobile phones or iPads while eating.