No matter whether your children are overweight, underweight or just fine, as a parent you must be worried about how your child is eating. Read on to learn about the top 10 mistakes that parents make regarding food and nutrition of their children.
When it comes to improving eating habits in kids, parents often overdo things. Many people do not understand that when health and nutrition education is not introduced properly, it will not result in healthy eating. In fact, it may turn your kid less interested in nutritional food also. On the other hand if the education that is given matches with the proper development and interest of your kid, it can turn out extremely powerful.
Top 10 Food and Nutrition Mistakes Parents Make
Have a quick look at the common food and nutrition mistakes done by parents.
1. Feeding Older Children
Although kids learn to pick and put things in mouth by the time they are eight months old, many parents feed their children for much longer period because things are under their control. Self feeding will encourage your child to have varieties of food and also help him or her learn how to eat. If right self feeding opportunity is given to the toddlers they can learn self feeding even before they turn 2.
2. Not Involving Child in Family Meals
Babies are usually fed separately. Remember, kids learn a lot by watching others. So, serve them regular meals you want them to eat later right from an early age. Normally, a child can eat family food on turning a year old. But make sure that the food is not too oily or spicy. Also take all the necessary precautions to prevent choking hazards.
3. Offering Liquids in Between Meals
Since children have small stomachs they get filled if they are offered milk or juice often during the day. Try to give 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day and restrict milk to 2 cups and juice to 2-3 cups as soon as your child starts eating.
4. Forcing Child to Finish Food that is Served
It is not good to force child to finish whatever is served in his or her plate. Let your child eat how much ever he or she wants to eat. If child forcefully eats something he or she may vomit it later on which is not good.
5. Completely Banning Junk Foods
Although, foods like chips, fries, sweets etc, come under the category of unhealthy foods you must avoid being too strict about not consuming such foods. Kids can eat such foods once in a while. But make sure that they do not eat too much of such foods and do not get into a habit of eating such foods regularly.
6. Stuffing Junk Food and No Limits in Kitchen
If you stuff junk food in your kitchen cabinets and keep your kitchen open all the time, your child may graze and overeat and lose the sense of appetite regulation. Make meals and snack nourishing and create a boundary between them. Make sure that you follow a proper routine for serving meals.
7. Giving Up Too Soon
Usually parents give up early and easily and most often leave the decision on their children. Instead, you should help them understand the importance of nutrition in life and persuade them to eat well by being a good role model.
8. Letting Kids Decide What to Eat
When children start deciding on what, when and how much to eat, they might take decisions like eating less or more or end-up eating junk food. Discuss on the matter by directly talking to your child and address problematic eating with apt solutions.
9. Following Unhealthy Eating Habits
Most of the parents are too much focused on taking care of their kids and forget to pay attention to their own eating habits. Remember, you are the most powerful role model for your kids and they learn by watching.
10. Not Planning Meals
Most parents fix up dinner at the last hour and this lacks variety. Try planning meals beforehand and add as much variety as possible. Find a system that works well with you and your family. As a parent you have to make decision of what you have to serve, but at the same time you need to remember that kids are different from day to day. So, plan and prepare well.
Which are the common food and nutrition mistakes done by parents? How can parents prevent poor eating habits in kids? How to encourage kids to develop healthy eating habits? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team