Most of the children are picky eaters. It is practically difficult to make kids eat healthy food because if kids do not like any food, they will not have it. Read on to learn how you can make your kids eat without forcing them.
Parents know that eating healthy food is a major step towards leading a long and happier life. But the main problem is how to make kids eat healthy food readily. Children are usually interested to have the familiar food types â€“ the sugary white starches and the salty snacks.
For many parents, mealtimes are stressful and the dining table becomes almost a battlefield. However, there are ways with the help of which you can make your kids eat as healthy as you.
Tips to Make Kids eat Without Forcing Them
Have a quick look at the 12 tips to make your kids eat without forcing them.
1. Set an Example
The best way to make your kids eat properly and everything is to show them your way of eating. Children follow the eating pattern of their parents. If they will see you eating healthy food, they will follow suit.
2. Check the Food Supply
Children eat what they know. If they know that they will get their favourite food if they refused to eat the meal, they will never eat healthy food. On the other hand, kids would not ask for special meal if they knew it was not an option.
3. Make Eating Time a Fun
Kids love to play and like games. Relate healthy foods to fun things or cartoon characters your child already loves and turn the mealtime into a game. This is a great way to make your kids get some green down their hatch.
4. Structure Mealtimes
Mealtimes should be family affair. Create a set time and place for meals and make them family experience. Studies show that family meals improve the health and general well-being of children especially adolescents. This will also save them from choosing unhealthy food option because they are not left to eat alone.
5. Restrict Snacking Between Mealtimes
Snacking between mealtimes is one of the biggest problems that make children not eat proper and healthy meals. If your child knows that she is not going to have any snacks till morning after dinner, she will never skip the dinner.
6. Let Children Have Their Choices
Children love to eat food of their choices. You can make one of the favourites of your child sometimes along with a healthy meal so that your child feels herself important and special. Let her make her choice within the healthier options and prepare that for dinner.
7. Restrict Buying Junk Food
Remember, the first rule of healthy eating is to eliminate the temptation. If you do not purchase unhealthy food, you automatically restrict access to the problem.
8. Engage Your Kids in Meal Preparation
Children readily have something that they have seen with their eyes and about which they know. Engage your kids when preparing meals or at least at the time of serving it. Take them to the grocery store and let them pick one or more things so that you can make them for dinner. You will find them very excited when eating that food.
9. Do not Force Them to Finish the Plate
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is to threat or bribe their children to finish their plate. They think this will change their behaviour or by forcing them to eat they will let their child develop taste for the specific food. However, bad feelings about food and negative meal experiences are created due to punishing kids and fighting with them to correct their eating habits.
10. Reward Good Eating Habits
Rewarding your children for taking at least one bite of the food they rejected earlier will encourage them to have another. They are likely to like the food in future.
11. Understand your Childâ€™s Value
Children do not care much about health and so if you tell them about healthy food, they will not understand. On the other hand if you try to motivate kids by telling them that the food they are eating will make them big and stronger, it might work wonders.
12. Get Creative With Food
Cook different vegetables separately and serve them designed in the plates of your children. They are simply going to love it. If you make the shape of heart or make smiley with the food times, they will enjoy their food.
The above tips are definitely going to help you make your kids eat healthy food without forcing them. But you must understand the fact that some children will be more difficult than others. You will require more effort and patience dealing with them. If it is late, remember that you are not going to change your childâ€™s eating habits overnight.
However, experts are of the opinion that habits developed at an early age remain with the children till adulthood. So, try to start offering healthy food to your child as early as possible. Even if your child is a little bigger now, you can make a start, after all. Expose your children to healthy foods in a positive way.
When parents follow the guidelines and rules to encourage kids eat right, they help them maintain healthy weight also. Let your child experiment with new foods and give them healthy options even when they go out for dinner. Let them have sweets or their favourite snacks occasionally.
Why do kids always make a fuss while eating healthy food stuff? How to make kids eat without forcing them? What are the ill effects of forcing kids to eat? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team