Unhealthy eating or overeating habits most often start in childhood and if not checked on time, they linger and sometimes lead to related problems in future. Read on to learn about ways to break unhealthy eating habits in kids.
Parents are responsible for shaping their children’s eating habits. They should not forget that they have a big influence over the family environment and they take the decision of meals that take place in the family and about the type of food their children eat.
One of the most important things that you should keep in mind is that positive experiences about food may help your children break the unhealthy eating habits and this should be started as early as possible. Along with positive eating environment, you also need to be a role model for your children and set an example by breaking unhealthy eating habits that you follow.
Let us have a quick look at the 7 ways to break unhealthy eating habits in kids.
1. Create Positive Eating Environment
When you have family meals, the best way to have is by creating a positive environment. Let children enjoy the meal as well as the togetherness. When kids watch other members of the family eat meals properly, they too learn to do the same way.
2. Set a Schedule
When you have regular and fixed time and schedule for meals and even snacks, it creates a healthy routine. On the other hand if yourkids eat whenever they feel like eating, they will not be hungry during meal time and also there is a possibility of overeating in your kid which would ultimately lead to obesity and several related problems.
3. Have At Least One Family Meal
It is a very good idea to have at least one meal daily where all the members of the family sit together and eat. This will help your child eat whole grain as well as fruits and vegetables along with others.
4. Restrict The Screen Time
Many children have the habit of eating in front of TV. When children are watching television they tend to eat much more than they actually need and this may lead to higher risk of childhood obesity. They also make poorer food choices when they eat in front of TV.
5. Keep Healthy Food Items At Home
Make sureyou buy healthy food items when you shop. Children usually snack or eat the food items they find easily available in the fridge, cupboard and kitchen shelves. If you offer them varieties of healthy food items, they will be able to serve themselves without any pressure.
6. Be A Positive Role Model
As a parent it becomes your responsibility to influence your kids to break unhealthy eating habit and for this, you will have to initiate. So, prepare healthy food and enjoy the food with your kids. When your children will see you eating food from all nutritious groups, they will automatically start eating them.
7. Limit Fast Food
Fast food items are high in calories, fat, sugar and salt and they must be eaten less often. When you limit these food items, your children will also feel less tempted to eat them. Keep one thing in mind and avoid labelling these food items as ‘bad’ because this might not help. Just let your children feel that these food items are eaten occasionally or in moderation.
Remember, as a parent you play a very important role in shaping your child’s eating habits. By creating a supportive environment at home and by setting an example yourself, you can help your children break their unhealthy habits to a great extent and this will make a lasting impact on their life and health.
How to encourage kids to eat healthy? How to break unhealthy eating habits in kids? Which health risks can be caused due to unhealthy eating habits in kids? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team